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Documentarian will discuss conflicts in Colombia

November  30, 2011

Steve Cagan (Photo by Ricardo Ávila)

Civil conflict and the environment play a significant role in the lives of many; in Colombia, that combination of conflicts is severe. Steve Cagan, a 35-year activist and documentary photographer, will present a community convocation titled, "Can the Environmental and Cultural Treasure of El Chocó Be Saved — for the Residents and for Us?" at 10:30 a.m. Dec. 8 in Centennial Hall at Augustana College, 3703 7th Ave.

His presentation is free and open to the public.

Cagan has worked with many disadvantaged groups in Latin America and the U.S., and he is fascinated by the influence of the daily lives of native people on the environment. His talk will focus on the violence of civil conflict, the destruction of forests for industry and agriculture, and the effects of lumber and gold mining on the El Chocó region of Colombia.

The recipient of two Fulbright fellowships, Cagan has taught at several colleges and universities in the United States, El Salvador and Colombia. He co-authored The Promised Land, El Salvador, named the 1991 Book of the Year by the Association for Humanist Sociology.

In conjunction with Cagan's visit to Augustana, the documentary film Plan Colombia, Cashing in on the Drug War Failure will be shown at 7 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 5, in the auditorium of the Olin Center for Educational Technology on campus. Created and directed by Gerard Ungerman and Audrey Brohy, this film examines the complex roots and consequences of the illicit drug trade in Colombia, and raises important questions about the ongoing "war on drugs" and U.S. policy in Colombia and beyond.

Sam Schlouch
Senior Communication Director
(309) 794-7833