Paisatg-e / Paisaj-e / Landscap-e / Paysag-e





Water and cinema

Montse Guiu
Director of PICURT, the Pyrenean cinema festival

For the fourth year in a row, a conference day was held in June as part of the PICURT festival, the Cinema Fair of the Pyrenean Mountains. Renowned academics and specialists took part in the conference devoted to reflection on the mountains, which was organised by the cinema festival and IDAPA, the Institute for the Development of the High Pyrenees and Aran, these included Eduardo Martinez de Pisón, Joan Nogué, Jordi Sagatal, Jaime Izquierdo, Pedro Arrojo, Joan Ganyet, Jorge Hernandez and Victor Viñuales, whose knowledge and scientific arguments have nourished debate during several conferences. They have contributed to help grow and support the values of the mountain and its inhabitants. This year's topic for debate centred on water as an essential resource for future strategies in the Pyrenees. 

This summer's conference featured the participation of Pedro Arrojo, who is one of the backers of the European declaration for a new water culture, which involves the need to cease viewing rivers, water tables and lakes as no more than channels for water circulation, from which this resource can be extracted whenever needed. It proposes instead, the need to view them as living ecosystems that are essential in keeping their environment healthy. The declaration arose from the debate on the limits of decisive power and the imposition of public function in terms of the treatment of water resources as resources for capitalist productivity and profitability with respect to the collective dignity of a region's inhabitants. We are faced with a transitional change in the social and ethic paradigm, which is not only applied to water.This stance rejects the productivist, economistic and devastating use of natural resources and backs a new ethics of sustainability and socio-environmental justice. In this paradigm people observe and find themselves again in their immediate environment, one which is in fact that which gives sense to their lives. In my environment, the factors of excellence are biodiversity, the woods, water resources and its inhabitants. The conference showed that another culture and another type of organisation is possible and that the knowledgeable opinions of academics, together with the strength and decisiveness of society support these changes.

By way of explanation, the PICURT festival, the Cinema Fair of the Pyrenean Mountains is a festival featuring feature-films, medium-length, TV and short films about mountains from different parts of the world. The event is organised by the CEP Association (Cultureand Environment of the Pyrenees) in the towns of Artedó and La Seu d'Urgell. It was created in 2006 from a proposal made by a group of people concerned with mountain issues. The aim is to ensure that the cinema festival becomes an area of expression for those mountain inhabitants, who seek reconciliation with the environment and who wish to highlight the value of their ancient cultures.It is a project that aims to strengthen the identity of the inhabitants of mountain regions.

The festival offers some sixty films over a period of five days, all of which focus on how people in mountains all over the world live and feel. In addition to films, the festival also includes cultural exhibitions of a literary, musical, artistic and culinary nature, as well as the aforementioned conference days. Ethnography, anthropology, sociology, sport, fiction, debates, gastronomy, music, arts, interpretation, literature and others,all of these themes concerning mountains take place in La Seu d'Urgell and in Artedó during the festival, which reflect the creative impulse of its inhabitants.

The Culture and Environment of the Pyrenees association is dedicated to preserving and maintaining mountain culture, the mountain environment and its inhabitants, were are honoured to be able to organise these conferences, which we later add to and expand with related films in the PICURT festival.

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