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Yousef belongs to the Gujjar community, a semi-nomadic group living in the valleys and mountains of the Kashmiri Himalayas, India. The people of his community and millions of others like them are not only beginning to lose their strong cultural identity, but also their relationship with their environment and with it the possibility of a truly sustainable future.
Some of the village elders in this small Kashmiri village told us that that traditional corn varieties that they have been planting for hundreds of years that were used to make highly nutritious flat breads were almost gone, as children demanded non-nutritious processed white bread from the village store. Agriculture in so much of the world is still so strongly attached to rich and sustaining cultures, but as children begin to be educated in systems driven primarily by economic concerns, cultural landscapes are beginning to change the aspirations and expectations, mutating their perceptions of this changing world. Children who were once entertained and educated by their environment now seem stimulated only by their mobile phones and television.
This is the sixth film in the 9×9 film festival. These films have been made for one reason: to help people understand the reality of what’s really happening to the world’s food and farming systems, and why.
The Source Project was set up to work in a more holistic way within the development media as business interests transform the development sector into a business driven model. By changing the way we live and operate, we are able to use our limited funds to help subsidize films that we feel need to be made. We have created a short film format that can be easily watched and shared on various social media platforms. We feel that this way we are able to not only help counter an imbalance and misinformation within development media, but also stimulate consciousness on issues that otherwise would pass unnoticed. At the heart of The Source Project is agriculture, a system not only of food production, but also one that maintains our ecosystem, our cultures, our health and the very survival of humanity.