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Film Examines Human Rights in Colombia’s Export Flower Industry

BOONE — Human rights and environmental concerns in Colombia are explored in “Love, Women, and Flower.”

The documentary film is part of Appalachian State University’s ongoing Women’s Realities Film Series. The film will be shown February 28 in I. G. Greer Auditorium at 7 p.m.

Flowers are Colombia’s third largest export.

But behind the beauty of the carnations and chrysanthemums sold in the United States and Europe lies a horror story of hazardous labor conditions for the 60,000 women who work in the flower industry.

The use of pesticides and fungicides, some banned in the developed countries that export them, has drastic health and environmental consequences.

This beautiful and powerful award-winning documentary is the final collaborative effort of filmmakers Marta Rodriguez and her husband Jorge Silva.

The filmmakers evoke the testimonies of the women workers and document their efforts to organize with urgency and intimacy.

Cyndi Mellon, human rights activist and consultant to the Center for Global Leadership at Rutgers University, will lead a question and answer discussion following the film. Mellon has traveled extensively in Colombia working with and organizing the women who work in the flower industry.

She also has worked for the Government of Canada and their aid programs to Latin America, the Instituto Latinamericano de Servicios Legales Alternative in Bogota, Colombia, and OXFAM-Canada.

This series is supported by a grant from the North Carolina Humanities Council, with additional funding from Appalachian’s Women’s Studies Program, Humanities Council, Department of History, Department of Interdisciplinary Studies, School of Music, Reich College of Education, College of Arts and Sciences, Walker College of Business, College of Fine and Applied Arts, Multicultural Center, Women’s Center, Belk Library, Department of Family and Consumer Science, Sustainable Development, Asian Studies Committee, Asian Student Association, and Latin American Studies Program.

Admission is free and the film is open to the public.

For additional information call 262-6879.