Kogi message received loud and clear in Dún Chaoin at Aluna premiere

Betsy Konick, Camphill, with Alan Ereira and John Hart at the Irish premiere of Aluna at Ionad an Bhlascaoid last Friday.
Betsy Konick, Camphill, with Alan Ereira and John Hart at the Irish premiere of Aluna at Ionad an Bhlascaoid last Friday.

A PACKED auditorium sat captivated in Ionad an Bhlascaoid on Friday night as locals were treated to the Irish premiere of Alan Ereira's documentary Aluna which centres on the very urgent message the indigenous Kogi people of Colombia wish to impart to the world.

Twenty years ago Mr Ereira brought global attention to the Kogi people with his documentary 'The Heart of the World: The Elder Brothers' Warning' which cautioned the world of the untold damage being inflicting on the environment and to Mother Earth. Despite the Kogi's impassioned pleas, little has changed and subsequently Mr Ereira returned to Columbia to visit the Kogi who in turn led him on a journey traversing the country's coast, examining the devastation industrialisation has caused to vegetation, animal life, lagoons, lakes and to the Earth.

During the documentary, it was clear that the Kogi were keen to impart their message of caution to 'Younger Brother' (i.e. us) who they believe have brought the planet to the brink as glaciers melt, ferocious storms batter coastlines and as landslides, floods and drought continue to wreak havoc.

The Kogi population numbers around 18,000; their ancestors existed alongside the Mayans and Aztecs and followed a traditional way of life stretching back over 1,500 years.

Mr Ereira's portrayal of the inherent understanding of the Kogi's almost symbiotic connection to the Earth in Aluna, which was shot over three years, struck a chord with the people of Corca Dhuibhne. Indeed the Kogi's core spiritual concept of how all living things impact upon one another could almost be compared to the West Kerry adage 'Ar Scáth a Chéile'.

Saying it is one thing but action is another and the Kogi's message to us is that we must change our ways or face the end of the our world.

Ionad an Bhlascaoid was chosen as the site for the Irish premiere because the island people that it represents lived with an awareness and understanding of their environment that was both practical and deeply spiritual.

A Q&A was hosted at the end of the film with a lovely discussion developing.

Speaking to The Kerryman afterwards, Mr Ereira said he was delighted with the response to his film in Dún Chaoin.

More information on the film is available at AlunaTheMovie.com.