While working as a correspondent in Colombia I learned that nearly one-third of the nation’s 102 indigenous groups are in danger of extinction because of the violence. Native people are disproportionately slain by the army, paramilitary and insurgent fighters who vie to control their ancestral land. My growing awareness of these ongoing atrocities compelled me to make this film.
As a woman, I was drawn to telling this story through the point of view of several female leaders I had the good fortune of meeting. When I met the film’s protagonists Doris, Ludis and Flor in 2006, they were each facing complicated choices, representative of the many life-and-death situations in Colombia that remain unbeknownst to many. The objective in making We Women Warriors was to shine a light on these remarkable female leaders who were using peaceful methods to transform their lives and transcend oppression. Like feminism, this documentary is both personal and political.
Using my hard-earned access as a journalist, I traveled between several villages during three years to chronicle a few exceptional native women using the wisdom of words and the tribal tradition of collective actions to defend themselves amid ongoing combat. Fluent in Spanish, and savvy about traveling in Colombia’s conflict zones, I sometimes became a one-person production team, shooting alone in the Colombian countryside. At other times, I traveled and worked with a small, committed Colombian crew.
I lived in Colombia for seven years and shot this film mostly during 2006-2009. It’s a great privilege that these incredible women and communities entrusted me with their stories despite the risks involved.
“Karsin ventures into this unchartered feminist viewpoint with … an intricate story about perseverance in a place where violence has overrun the desire for peace, but three women seek to make change with non-violent actions.”
– Film Facture