Category Archives: Brazil

When all lives matter equally

Dear friends,

I am writing to you from a café in East Jerusalem. Since my arrival over two weeks ago, I have been surrounded by evidence of deepening oppression, heightened desperation and palpable fear for what the future brings.

But I have also been inspired by Palestinians and Israelis who are resisting occupation and racism, and are working towards a vision of a future where everyone’s rights are equally protected.

This desperation—and the hope for meaningful change built by those actively resisting—is not just in Israel/Palestine. I saw it when I marched with thousands of others in the streets of New York demanding accountability for the police killings of Eric Garner and Michael Brown.  I felt it when filming with human rights defenders who were standing strong in the face of brutal repression in Bahrain, Brazil, and Honduras. I read it in the correspondence I received from scores of men and women in prison throughout the U.S.

I wish I could promise that the next film or book from donkeysaddle projects will free all political prisoners in Bahrain, bring equal rights to all Palestinians and Israelis, and end the state violence that has reached epidemic proportions in the U.S, particularly targeting communities of color. But I know that donkeysaddle projects alone cannot achieve this. Our work is one small part of a much larger, critically important effort–an effort that will need sustained commitment from all of us.

What I can promise is this:  With your support, donkeysaddle projects will continue to expose the human impact of state violence, repression, occupation and other violations of human rights. And, in doing so, we will continue to amplify the stories and voices of those who are resisting with humanity and dignity.

For only when all lives matter equally, can the meaningful change that protestors from Ferguson to Jerusalem to Bahrain have been calling for take root.

As 2014 draws to a close, I hope you will choose to include donkeysaddle projects in your year-end giving and help us highlight humanity.

If you have already contributed, please know that your gift is appreciated greatly!!

With hope for 2015,
Jen Marlowe
donkeysaddle projects

PS- For a summary of what we accomplished in 2014, and our plans for the year ahead, please click here.

PPS—Though a one-time donation (via credit card or check) is highly appreciated, please consider a monthly gift! No matter the amount, monthly contributions provide a steady source of support and enable us to widen our impact!

To stay in closer touch:
Twitter: @donkeysaddleorg
Blog: View from the donkey’s saddle

New Yorkers protesting the lack of accountability in the police killing of Mike Brown

New Yorkers protesting the lack of accountability in the police killing of Mike Brown


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Filed under Bahrain, Brazil, Criminal Justice, Human Rights, Palestine/Israel

Supporting humanity, dignity and equal rights

Dear friends and supporters,

I am so grateful for your support. You make possible all that we do at donkeysaddle projects.

2014 has brought into stark relief how much critically important work must be done, and how interconnected are so many struggles for freedom, equality, and dignity, whether in Ferguson, Palestine, or Bahrain.

The racism inherent in our country’s state violence (be it the death penalty or police killings), the utter disregard for human life that enabled the recent devastation in Gaza, the continued targeting of human rights defenders from Bahrain to Brazil…these all serve as powerful and painful reminders of how vital it is to highlight everyone’s equal humanity, and to insist on the protection of everyone’s rights and freedom.

In 2014, your generosity helped donkeysaddle projects in the struggle for human dignity and human rights by supporting our ability to:

I will be in Israel/Palestine when you receive this letter, perhaps in Gaza, assessing the impact of war and siege on Gaza’s health and education systems; with Israeli friends in Tel Aviv or Haifa as they struggle to dismantle their country’s structures of power and privilege and replace them with structures of true equality and justice; at the Freedom Theatre in Jenin Refugee Camp, filming artists who bravely continue in their path of cultural resistance to oppression; or in Jerusalem, documenting the boiling-over tensions of the city, and examining the conditions that led there.

In 2015, your support can enable donkeysaddle projects to continue this ongoing work in Palestine/Israel, in Bahrain, and in the U.S.

Here’s what we have planned in the year ahead:

Your contribution allows donkeysaddle projects to have impact for years to come and supports a vision of the world in which every person’s humanity, dignity and rights are equally respected and equally protected.

Please support donkeysaddle projects with a contribution that feels meaningful to you this year!  For online donations, including monthly donations, please click here. For info on donations via check, please click here.

With warm wishes for a New Year that brings us closer to peace with justice, dignity, freedom and equality for all,

Jen Marlowe
donkeysaddle projects

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Filed under Asel Asleh, Bahrain, Brazil, Criminal Justice, Death Penalty, Human Rights, Palestine/Israel, Troy Davis

Brazil: Men of the Sea

Dear friends,

At this time last year, I had just returned from filming in Brazil, where I was documenting the risks facing human rights defenders for the organization Front Line Defenders.

The 7-part video series that I made has been rolled out over the last few months, some in the lead-up to the recent World Cup in Brazil.

This, the 5th video in the series, explores the threats being faced by fisherfolk in a collective called AHOMAR (an acronyn whose translation is: Men of the Sea.)

AHOMAR has been engaged in activism trying to prevent the pollution of Guanabara Bay–leading to the destruction of their way of life and livlihood–at the hands of Big Oil. AHOMAR fisherfolk have been threatened, beaten, and assassinated for trying to stand up for their life and protect their bay.

Learn more with this 7-minute video:


In solidarity with the courageous men and women of AHOMAR,

Jen Marlowe

AHOMAR's shuttered headquarters

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Filed under Brazil, Human Rights

Deize: the making of a human rights defender in Brazil

In August 2013, I traveled to Brazil to film/edit a 7-part video series for the human rights organization Front Line Defenders as part of the campaign they were launching for the 2014 World Cup.

Though the World Cup is over, egregious human rights violations in Brazil are not, particularly those experienced by marginalized communities at the hands of the police.

2,000 people are killed in Brazil each year by the police.

In this segment, Deize Carvalho, a human rights defender I met in the Cantagalo favela in Rio, tells the story of how her teenaged son Adreu was murdered by the police, and how that tragedy transformed her into the activist agaisnt police brutality that she is today.

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Filed under Brazil, Human Rights

Brazil: Occupy Camera

Protests erupted in Brazil last summer over a host of interrelated social issues, and continue, with a focus on the World Cup. The protestors have been at risk of police violence, as well as the citizen-journalists who have covered the protests and real time, and the lawyers who have been defending the protestors.
This video is part 3 of a 7 part series I made for Front Line Defenders, as part of their World Cup Campagin.

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June 13, 2014 · 7:58 pm

Brazil: the Guarani struggle

Dear friends,

As part of Front Line Defenders World Cup 2014 campaign, I spent two weeks filming in Brazil, making a 7-part video series highlighting human rights defenders who are under great risk. Part 1, illustrating the struggle of favela activists in Rio to hold onto their homes, can be viewed here.

Part 2, released today, is a look at the struggle of the indigenous Guarani community in the Southwestern Brazilian state of Mato Grosso du Sol, who are desperately trying to reclaim their tribal lands from big agro-business–and being brutally targeted (often killed) in the process by the farmers, usually with complete immunity.

Watch more here:


And, please do spread, circulate, share.   The world is watching Brazil right now. Let’s make sure that soccer matches are not the only thing they are seeing.

In soldarity,

Jen Marlowe


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Filed under Brazil, Human Rights

As the World Cup Approaches…


Santa Marta

Santa Marta favela in Rio, Brazil

April 25, 2014

Dear friends,

As the World Cup in Rio approaches, I recently completed a 7-part video series for the human rights organization Front Line Defenders. Each segment exposes risks facing human rights defenders in Brazil, with a special focus on the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games.

The segments focus on human rights issues in Brazil such as police brutality, fishermen who are being killed for their nonviolent resistance to energy companies polluting their bay, and the indigenous Guarani community in south west Brazil who are being persecuted for their efforts to reclaim their tribal lands.

The first segment, a 12-minute piece titled: The Favela Will Not Be Silent was just released.

You can watch it here:

As always, I welcome your comments and feedback!

All the best,
Jen Marlowe
Founder, donkeysaddle projects

Twitter: @donkeysaddleorg



Filed under Brazil, Human Rights