We Rise for Our Land (50-min) explores the complexities and contentions of land struggles in 3 countries in Southern Africa- Eswatini ( formerly known as Swaziland), Mozambique, and Zambia. The protagonists of our film are rural women who both work the land and mobilize for legislation to put themselves at the center of decision-making around land use.

We Rise for Our Land reveals the ways African women in the rural areas of Mozambique, Zambia, and Eswatini, are on the forefront of radical struggles against new forms of global capitalist configurations and accumulation while simultaneously pushing back against the traditional forms of anti-imperialist and anti-colonial models of struggle, in productive and generative ways. The Rural Women's Assembly in Southern Africa reimagines contemporary land-based struggles through emphasizing women's collective leadership as an integral aspect of movement building and feminist praxis that challenges Africanized (neo)colonial and patriarchal land tenure systems, relationships to power, hyperextractive multinational industries, and state repression through building regenerative practices and rural women's agency as political actors and reproducers of their communities

Dr Tasneem Siddiqui - Winston-Salem State University
Synopsis: 

Repression and criminalisation of social movements across the Southern African Development Community region, targeted at land activists and smallholder farmers have become a major area of concern. In almost every S.A.D.C country, the rights of individuals or groups to exercise fundamental democratic rights to protect themselves from land alienations spearheaded by dominant capital working with African states as well as to occupy land has been limited and in some cases denied by the state.

 

Reviews

We Rise For Our Land sharply focuses on long collective struggles of dispossessed and displaced people in Southern Africa to uproot ongoing settler-colonial violence and reconstruct more dignified and humane livelihoods  Recovering the moving testimonies of women leaders working within self-organized anti-patriarchal farming collectives in three sites of struggle it brilliantly reveals their strategies to subvert cunning neoliberal legal projects that fail to recognize collective not individualized ideas of rights as foundational for reconstructing human dignity based on inseparable social political-ecological and economic freedoms

Professor Ken Salo - Illinois University
Director's Commentary: 

The African context is one marred with the vestiges of colonial rule with the most prominent reminder of age-old systematic and structural processes of dispossession being visible through the state of land across the African continent - who owns it and who has access to it. Traversing through the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, the documentary film We Raise For Our Land: Land Struggles and Repression in Zambia, eSwatini (formerly known as Swaziland) and Mozambique, seeks to facilitate the movement of these conversations to the forefront of our public conscience. In its articulation of agrarian reform in the aforementioned countries, We Raise For Our Land engages aptly with the worrying realities of our present - where people are continually subjected to land dispossession; whether it is through the destruction of homes, evictions or the ongoing degradation of the environment to the extent that it becomes uninhabitable. At the forefront of social movements agitating for change are women who are acutely invested in establishing a world where they are empowered with the land.

We Rise For Our Land has affirmed that an engaged pursuit of agrarian reform requires extensive civic and popular education - particularly in rural areas. It is imperative that we take seriously the work of social movements in actively imagining and creating a world where agrarian reform and ecological justice is not a pipe dream, but an attainable reality - a transformative and promising locus of thriving material conditions — and stand in solidarity with those in the front line.