Roşia Montană, A New Beginning - Screening and talk on building resilient communities

23rd February 2016

23rd February 2016
7 pm - 9:30 pm
RCC: Manchester Square, 18 Fitzhardinge Street, London W1H 6EQ
Free. Booking is essential at

At RCC, on February 23, we continue to celebrate the cultural and natural heritage of Roşia Montană, but mainly the recent victories won by civil society and local communities. That’s why we invite you to come and discover the story behind the 16 year long battle against corporate greed at Roşia and other similar stories from around the world.

In an event in partnership with Environmental and Social Change (ESC) and Gaia Foundation, we will host a special screening ahead of the UK release of the documentary “In Defence of Life”. This will be followed by a panel discussion on the challenges and achievements of such resilient communities.

On February 6, Roşia Montană celebrated its 1885th anniversary. It was a day after ‪‎the Ministry of Culture in Romania added ‪‎this unique European village to the country's tentative list of ‪UNESCO‬ World ‪Heritage‬ sites. The public announcement came 6 years after the request was initially submitted.

Situated in the Apuseni Mountains (Transylvania), the picturesque village of Roşia Montană has been inhabited since pre-Roman times. It is the oldest documented mining settlement in Romania and the continent's largest gold deposit, yet this quiet place with warm-hearted people risked irreversible damage to their ancestral land, in exchange for another’s short-term profits. For more than a decade, the Canadian mining company Gabriel Resources had been trying to commence work in the area but had repeatedly been denied permission due to a strong opposition from the civil society and numerous local, national and international NGOs.

Come and celebrate people power, be part of Roşia’s unfolding inspiring story!

The documentary "In Defence of Life"  (2016) is a Gaia Foundation production and it follows the struggles and triumphs of communities in Colombia, Romania, South Africa and the Philippines as they encounter mining projects. Examining the whys and hows of their struggles in the communities’ own words, the film raises deep questions about the common assertion that mining generates prosperity and development. By bringing together voices from seemingly distant parts of the world, the film shows that the localised struggles of these communities form part of a global pattern of opposition to extractivism; that when injustice and destruction are globalised, so is resistance.
The film is an invitation to everyone, everywhere to stand up in defence of life.

Guest speakers

Elizabeth Cox is an experienced economist who leads the New Economy in Practice team at The New Economics Foundation (NEF). Her work is focused on demonstrating what the new economy looks like on a practical basis, which includes working with communities and local authorities to develop local economic strategies, and developing new models and approaches which challenge mainstream thinking on economics - both in the UK and internationally. Elizabeth has been a member of a number of Commissions related to strengthening local economies, and advisory groups to support the development and delivery of new economic projects in: Brazil, Israel, Honduras, South Africa and India.

Hal Rhoades is Communications and Advocacy officer at The Gaia Foundation and a Regional Coordinator for the “Yes to Life”, “No to Mining Network”. He is privileged to work alongside inspiring social movements, networks and communities worldwide that are challenging the extractive industries and pioneering ecologically and socially just paths into the future. He was part of the production team of the documentary “In Defence of Life” (2016).

Anca Giurgiu will moderate the talk. She is campaign coordinator at ESC and Environmental Projects Officer at the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea where she leads the community engagement on climate change and the delivery of the carbon reduction commitments. Currently she works in deprived areas in London to empower vulnerable communities to take action, develop low carbon neighborhoods and implement community-owned renewable projects. Anca previously worked as an Environmental Journalist and has been involved in the Save Roşia Montană campaign since 2005, when she was part of the Golden Way project (promoting touristic circuits and identifying sustainable local alternatives to mining in Roşia).

The Gaia Foundation is a small UK non governmental organisation operating internationally to protect and promote biological and cultural diversity. With its partners around the world, Gaia is committed to working towards food, land and water sovereignty, and a fairer, more just world.

Environmental and Social Change (ESC) is a London-based group of Romanians who are campaigning to change our current environmental and social boundaries.They aim to stop abusive projects which can destroy the environment and the communities that depend on it. ESC’s work is focused on raising awareness of social and environmental issues and creating sustainable change by making people responsible for their local actions at a global level.All ESC members met in London in September 2013 and initially formed the Save Rosia Montana UK Support Group.

Special thanks to our sponsor Deli Twist. 

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