Told through the experiences of a Batwa elder, youth, mother, and DIG facilitator, DIG’s “Growing New Roots” VR film takes the viewer on an immersive journey. You will learn how DIG has been partnering with this unique tribe to better feed their families and restore their connection to the land.
The sweeping, 360-degree views will transport you to Southwest Uganda where the distinct line of the forest’s edge now separates the Batwa from their past, as they put down new roots and reestablish their relationship with the land.
The story of the Batwa people of Southwestern Uganda has been tragic, but it’s a story that is still being written. To understand it, you must root yourself in the land, and the Batwa’s connection to it.
The Batwa, once derogatorily referred to as pygmies, are an ancient tribe. The forests where they lived are some of the most biologically diverse on Earth, home to thousands of unique species of animals and plants, most notably, the critically-endangered mountain gorillas.
In the early 1990s, in the name of conservation, the Batwa were evicted from their forest home. Entering the land that once sustained them as hunter-gathers, and defined their cultural identity, is now forbidden.
Today, they are left to build new relationships to the land outside the forest, and both the future of their tribe and forest conservation efforts now depend upon their success.