Fishing on Bobonaza River

SARAYAKU, Ecuador, 1 July 2015 – This is one of the more extraordinary scenes I captured during my three-week visit to the Ecuadoran Amazon. Here, in the autonomous, indigenous region of Sarayaku, Kichwa Indians of the seven communities that make up the region join a fishing expedition on the Bobonaza River. Members of the communities […]

Continue reading


BOBONAZA RIVER, Ecuador, 29 June 2015 — On the journey to the indigenous region of Sarayaku deep in the Ecuadoran Amazon, I took a five-hour canoe ride down the Bobonaza River. I saw dozens of canoes, run mostly by male “pilotos” and “punteros” (pilots and pointers.) A female pilot was somewhat of a rarity. This […]

Continue reading

Talking With the Amazon at American University

WASHINGTON, DC, 7 November 2014 — Professor Tod Swanson of Arizona State University addresses participants of a workshop organized by the Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University. The workshop was titled, “Religion and Democratic Contestation in Latin America: Rights and Justice Claims around the Environment and Gender/Sexuality.” Dr. Swanson spoke […]

Continue reading

Released: 2nd of Three Films on Guatemala Gangs and Religion

WASHINGTON, DC, 16 August 2013 — This is the second of three short films I made on gangs and religion in Guatemala. Using the methodology that we refer to as “backpack video journalism,” I documented Robert Brenneman as he conducted follow-up research to his book, “Homies + Hermanos: God and Gangs in Central America.” The […]

Continue reading

Cuban Filmmakers Screen at AU Backpack Documentary Class

WASHINGTON, DC, 19 September 2012 — Cuban filmmakers visiting American University (AU) sit in on my Backpack Documentary class late Wednesday. Maria Elisa Perez (in foreground with orange sweater) and Duniesky Canton Fernandez (opposite on left) screened their film, “Solar del 11,” about a public housing unit in Havana, Cuba. The film addresses one of […]

Continue reading