A transmedia project about a community that coal mining will erase from the map


El Hatillo will disappear: The community is located in northern Colombia, the biggest region of coal mining in Latin America and is surrounded by mines where international companies extract coal on a large scale. Due to the serious air pollution caused by coal mining, the Colombian Ministry of the Environment ordered in 2010 that El Hatillo's approximately 200 families must be resettled. For more than ten years now the community has been in this resettlement process.

In the immediate vicinity of El Hatillo are the La Francia, El Hatillo and La Loma mines. Since the 1990s, there has been coal mining in the "Cesar" department, where El Hatillo is located. More than 50 percent of the total coal mined in Colombia comes from there.

But this wealth of mineral resources is not reflected in the living conditions of the inhabitants. Contrariwise, many people live in poverty. Specialist literature speaks about a “resource curse” or paradox of plenty. The extraction of raw materials is, similar to the case of El Hatillo, a big business for multinational companies in many countries of the global South. Much of the coal mined in Colombia is exported to Europe to produce energy. So for example in Germany Colombian is used to generate electricity. Coal-fired power plants emit large amounts of the environmentally harmful gases carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulfur oxides (SOx), which contribute significantly to climate change.

“Memorias de Tierra” tells the history of El Hatillo and preserves virtually its most important locations.

The main element of the project is a multimedia platform where you can find out how the people from El Hatillo remember their village, how mining has changed their lives and what they wish for their future. With virtual reality (VR) you can walk around and take a tour of the village. In videos and infographics, there are also portraits of the people from the community, further information about coal mining in the region, as well as information about the health and environmental problems, and also human rights violations that mining entails.

Impressions from El Hatillo

Another component of the project is a photo exhibition that complements the virtual experience. It has already been shown in different places in Germany and Switzerland.

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We are still developing our project. Any financial support helps us get to the total amount that we need to realize "Memorias de Tierra".

Donations from Germany:

Institute of Environmental Justice (ioejev)
GLS Bank
IBAN: DE36 4306 0967 4119 7444 00
Verwendungszweck: Memorias de Tierra

Donations from Colombia:

Fundación Proyecto Chasquis
Entidad Bancario: Banco AV Villas
Cuenta corriente No: 009375676

You are welcome to contact us. We can be reached as follows:

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Transversal 17 #45d - 61

Bogotá / Colombia


+57 315 439 04 04

+57 314 212 72 10