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Video: Documentarian illustrates conflict in Colombia

December  09, 2011

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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, presented 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.

He also met with students from the Augustana Photo Bureau to talk about photography and photo methods and techniques.

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 ill focused 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.