Arica – film and impact campaign
When developed countries export their toxic waste to developing countries, the health and environmental effects on the poorest communities can be devastating. Yet the movement of hazardous waste from the developed to the developing world remains legal. In 1984, as Sweden tightened its environmental regulations, the mining conglomerate Boliden began shipping toxic waste to Chile. Despite claims that the material would be safely processed, 20,000 tonnes of smelter sludge containing arsenic, mercury and lead were dumped in Arica, north-west Chile. The waste material lay unattended and uncovered for years. The health and environmental consequences have been catastrophic. In 1998, Chilean governmental figures suggested that approximately 5,000 people may have been affected. Reports indicate that people have fallen victims to an array of illnesses including cases of cancer, birth defects and neurological disorders.
Today, community leaders suggest that the number of people affected may be between 10,000 – 15,000. The soil remains contaminated, and even today the affected area is unsafe for habitation. In this project, Spacedog Society will complete the feature-length documentary film ARICA and develop and implement an associated impact and audience engagement campaign, with multi-level sustainable goals and outcomes on an international scale.