Banished from Heaven



PHOTO & ESSAY BY FRANCISCO ELIAS PRADA: The world is in crisis, a crisis of values. Everything is being questioned, changing and transmuting. Western thinking and its' values are structured in paradigms based on formulas that require domination which include power in all areas such as the market, science, property, nature, natural resources, social classes, fine arts, iconography, the exploitation of man, war, and greed. These principles and actions are in crisis and has put mankind at a final crossroad. It is not a systemic crisis, it is a definite crisis. It is not an apocalyptic vision, but evidence of a tangible reality.

It is the struggle of values against values. On one hand, Western values, on the other, the values of a new humanity rescuing the memory, the history and ancestral knowledge; rediscovering the fundamental balance of life and nature. An urgent definite structural change beyond the traditional political ideological currents of right or left, fascist, communist, socialist, democratic, and all of its demagogic contemporary derivatives is necessary. It's a call to all of us and everyones responsibility. It's the awakening of new thoughts, cosmogonies, mythical, magical, ancestral origin, diverse, horizontal, plural as these things make up the very essence of being human.

That is why we must fight for the preservation and protection of our native peoples and their ways, their culture and their territories. These people are the source of the great ancestral knowledge of humanity, which with our willingness can contribute in the search of an alternative society for our future.


Being aware of the serious dangers that our indigenous people are facing and the factors that promote their destruction, state violence, populism, military security forces, gunmen, assassins, demagoguery, false territory demarcations, guerrillas of the right and left, cattle rangers, landlords, racial and social prejudice, exploitation of natural resources, acculturation, ethnocide, ecocide, mining and logging by large transnational corporations, religious missions it is urgently needed to stop and to take a stand against all of these realities that threaten the continuity of their physical and cultural existence (35 groups in Venezuela with 600,000 people). Our earth, as is all of mankind, is facing the same threats.


Regions which sustain the lives of  indigenous people within the Sierra de Perijá, Gran Sabana, Amazonas, Orinoco Delta  need to be recovered. We need to defend the balance of nature in Lake Maracaibo, Cuenca del Caroni, Mesa de Guanipa and their ancient ways of life. We must help these people in their cultural and political resistance such as the Yukpas, Baris, Wayúu in the Sierra de Perija, the Pemones in the Gran Sabana and the Karina in the Mesa de Guanipa.


These cultures which  have the ancestral knowledge to live and interact with nature in a respectful way and wise use of  their resources. It is urgent and necessary to defend the life of our species and this planet that gives us life in search of an alternative world, in solidarity, diversity, with respect for others and of nature.


Translation by ARTE AMAZONIA