Artscape – The creative forces behind many of the world’s headline stories

Al Jazeera’s Artscape gives expression to the creative forces behind many of the world’s headline stories. Across the globe people are using their voices, their imaginations and their visions to break down powerful barriers in their communities. From a small backroom theatre challenging a despotic regime, to the courage of individuals finding a voice; from the ancient traditions of the written word, to the power of photography; from the joy of expressing identity through dance and song, to those easing the pain of migration through music – Artscape brings us the rich colours and clear cadences of popular expression.

Bajamar Ballad
The fishing communities along Colombia’s Pacific coast are facing massive dislocation – and their only weapon is music.

Filmmaker: Ioan Grillo and John Dickie

For years, a group of 25,000 Afro-Colombian refugees and migrants have built a town on stilts over the sea at the edge of Buenaventura on Colombia’s Pacific coast.

Today, the Colombian government is attempting to relocate the entire community to an inland barrio so that it can develop a commercial port and tourist beaches.

Community leaders are trying to resist the eviction or at least fight for decent compensation as the move would not only rob residents of their homes but of their main livelihood – fishing.

To rally for the cause, activist Benildo Estupinan has organised local musicians and singers to compose songs that raise consciousness.

From that call, a collective of 30 singers and musicians was formed and given the name “Marcando Territorio” or Defending Territory. They are organising concerts, rallies and recording songs in defence of their homes and lives.

Witness : Artscape – Bajamar Ballad