Pachamama is a documentary which aims to shed light on the human narratives behind climate change by giving an insight into the lives of the Kallawayas, an indigenous population in the Bolivian Andes. Having a different perspective of the environment, the Kallawayas revere the earth; which they call Pachamama, and treat it with the same level of respect as they would treat their loved ones. As such this community provides an inspiring lens through which to consider our planet.

This deeply human experience of climate change, often neglected in mainstream climate change narratives is the pillar of this documentary. As such, we, the filmmakers behind this project, hope to bring a fresh perspective on this issue, which fundamentally concerns all of us and the future of this planet.

Having been affected by climate change for over a decade, the Kallawayas have no doubt about the reality of climate change, and have had to find innovating ways to adapt. The Kallawayas are traditional healers and according to the UNESCO Safeguarding Project can be traced to the pre-Inca period. They rely on hundreds of plants in order to practice their traditional medicine. For example, they pioneered the use of quinine in malaria treatment. Yet, their extensive knowledge remains at risk of being lost as they struggle to survive in the delicate, and now, threatened mountainous region in which they have lived for centuries, as many have no choice but to migrate to the cities.


The documentary gives an intimate insight into the lives of one of the Kallawaya families in the village Characapi located more than 15 000 feet high in the Bolivian Andes. Emilio, Irma, Alfonso as well as the children David (12), Sonela (8) Yuli (5) invite us into their homes and share both how they have been impacted by the changing climate and how they are attempting to innovate and adapt.

Narrated by the villagers themselves, the film gives the villagers a voice and chance to share their thoughts, worries and hopes for the future.

  • Alice Rowsome
  • Eliza Upadhyaya
  • Alice Rowsome
  • Eliza Upadhyaya
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    51 minutes 18 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    November 2, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    10,000 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    Bolivia, Plurinational State of
  • Language:
    English, Spanish
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Chatham House
    United Kingdom
    November 2, 2016
    World Premiere
  • Green Film Festival
    St Andrews
    United Kingdom
    February 12, 2017
Director Biography - Alice Rowsome, Eliza Upadhyaya

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