January beckons fresh starts everywhere, and for the Whistler Museum it means the resumption of our Speaker Series, after a December pause. On that note, we are excited to announce this month’s speaker, Squamish-based adventure writer and journalist Arno Kopecky. This presentation showcases a dispatch from the frontlines of globalization.
Kopecky will share stories and images from his year-long journey through the Amazon and Andes, exploring the impact of Canada's latest free trade agreements in South America. His travels begin with the Awajun Indians of Peru's upper Amazon, where a native protest against resource extraction multinationals (in particular, the Vancouver-based Dorato Resources Inc) led to a bloody confrontation with the army in which 35 people were killed.
In Colombia, Kopecky roams the slums of Medellín, where thousands of internally displaced citizens wind up each year after being kicked off resource-rich land in the countryside, forced now to survive on the margins of the City of Eternal Spring. These travels and the conflicts he witnessed formed the basis for his first book, The Devil’s Curve: A Journey into Power and Profit at the Amazon’s Edge.
The slideshow will conclude with a discussion of some of the parallels Kopecky found between what he witnessed in the Amazon and current events in another massive, isolated, imperiled woodland, B.C.’s own Great Bear Rainforest. Kopecky’s current work focuses on similar interactions between indigenous land rights and multinational resource companies along Canada’s Pacific Coast.
To purchase tickets (only 60 available), call the Whistler Museum at 604-932-2019, or visit us at 4333 Main Street (behind the library).
Complimentary coffee and tea will be served courtesy of the Whistler Roasting Company and Namasthé Tea Co. In addition, there will be a cash bar.
Sarah Drewery is executive director of the Whistler Museum.