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Lecture Series | 8 May, 16:15 | Film & Discussion | Jatun Yacu: Amazon of Rights - Maria Cecilia Oliveira and Michael Riegner

Where? H14, Universität Regensburg

When? Monday, 8 May 2023, 16:15–17:45

“Jatun Yacu” is the indigenous name, in Quechua language, for one of the tributaries of the Amazon river in Ecuador. As the Amazon river flows from its source to the Atlantic Ocean, it crosses four countries with different legal systems. This pilot documentary film by Maria Cecilia Oliveira and Michael Riegner traces the ebb and flow of rights in and of the Amazon across space and time, ethnographically exploring the question of what it means for a river to have rights, where these rights come from and what they might look like visually. It aims to show that while the notion of rights of nature may seem exotic to Western legal minds at first glance, a closer look reveals that the idea that non-human entities have rights is not new. The film is a prototype for a larger research and documentary film project, Amazon of Rights: Understanding Ecocentric Normativity and its Social Realities through Visual Ethnography, funded by the Volkswagen foundation from 2023–2025, with more information on the project here.

The session will include a showing of the film as well as discussion with its creators, Maria Cecilia Oliveira (Potsdam) and Michael Riegner (Erfurt).

Maria Cecilia Oliveira is head of the transdisciplinary research group "Democratic Governance and Ecopolitical Transformations" (EcoPol) at RIFS Potsdam. She is currently working with the EcoPol group on a transdisciplinary case study in the Amazon Basin. Michael Riegner is Assistant Professor of Public international law and international administrative law at the University of Erfurt. His extensive publication record includes works on The Global South and Comparative Constitutional Law (2020, ed. with Philipp Dann & Maxim Bönnemannn)

This talk forms part of the lecture series Climate Change: Action and Law in the Global South and Beyond the West organized by Prof. Dr. Rike Krämer-Hoppe (DIMAS/Law) with Dr. Paul Vickers (DIMAS/ScienceCampus). Find the full programme here.