Abalone Eyes

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Director Jazmin Garcia and creative director Marcus Correa explore climate justice through the storytelling traditions of Northern California’s Hoopa tribe.

The fight for climate justice is a long and arduous battle with no clear end point, and in today’s America, there are few for whom this rings more true than the Native American tribes fighting to retain and regain ownership of their ancestral homelands. Intrinsically intertwined with indigenous traditions, the natural world is laden with symbolism, and the conservation of sacred land is a show of respect for spiritual and significant cultural sites that indirectly contributes to environmental preservation efforts across the globe.

Directed by Jazmin Garcia, short film Abalone Eyes heroes youth activism through cinematic means, the first in an editorial photo and film series named Tokala – spearheaded by creative director Marcus Correa, with still photography by Carlos Jaramillo, and cinematography by Edson Reyes. Spotlighting issues around climate justice, Abalone Eyes takes viewers on a captivating, lyrical journey deep into the forests of Northern California, and the traditions of the Hoopa tribe that calls this land home. 

“Butterfly brought color to the world. Frog teaches you that if you put others before yourself you will reap the rewards.”

Told through the efforts of Danielle – aka Abalone Eyes, or Ducky to her friends –, this poetic document in film follows her plight to protect the Trinity River that flows the length of Hoopa lands. Retracing Danielle’s activism journey through conversations with elders and honored rituals, Abalone Eyes looks to shed light on the intersections of water justice, native justice, climate justice, and mental health – telling how the Hoopa’s deep connection with the land, and struggle to protect it, runs as deep as the Trinity River that has served as the lifeforce of the community for generations.

Originally published on Nowness

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