A pioneering new film featuring thousands of Coldplay fans and others, including actor Dominic Cooper - star of Mamma Mia and Captain America - and rock band Wolf Gang, is being launched today to highlight the injustice of land grabs.
Over the last two months, thousands of people from 55 countries around the world have submitted nearly seven thousand videos and photographs to produce a crowd sourced video set to an acoustic version of Coldplay's famous track In My Place which can be viewed at www.oxfam.org/inmyplacefilm.
The concept and film was created by award winning director Mat Whitecross to echo the dislocation and displacement thousands of families experience as a result of land grabs. The film shows people from Argentina to Indonesia moving something favorite, personal or familiar from their home to somewhere it doesn't belong. Others show people doing something personal and familiar totally out of place, such as actor, Dominic Cooper, having a nap outside in the freezing city of Budapest and rock band Wolf Gang jamming in the street.
People, land, power
Every year governments and private investors buy huge plots of land in some of the poorest countries in the world. Often the people who live on the land, and rely on it to feed their families, do not have a say when is sold and do not receive compensation. Many are evicted violently and those that protest are often subject to intimidation and harassment. In the last decade an area eight times the size of the UK has been sold off globally.
Oxfam global ambassadors Coldplay say: "Not only are Coldplay fans very good looking but they're also incredibly creative. We're proud that they've dedicated their collective talent to this important cause."
Mat Whitecross says: "Crowd-sourcing is a really exciting way to give creative power to the public. As a long-term supporter of Oxfam, I was keen to help and take on the challenge. I felt a huge responsibility to produce something that lived up to the commitment of the fans who had given their time and shared their voices to make real change. My parents were refugees so the issue of displacement, home and belonging are really important to me. I hope that the film helps bring the injustices caused by land grabs to a much wider audience. This is something we should all know about."
World Bank's role
The film is being released in the week that the World Bank convenes its Annual Spring Meetings. The World Bank influences how land is bought and sold on a global scale. Oxfam's GROW campaign has been calling for the World Bank to take action to prevent land grabs. The World Bank has recently acknowledged it has a role to play and has committed to do more to tackle the problem. Oxfam hopes the campaign video will inspire thousands of people to hold the Bank to account on these commitments.
Oxfam's GROW campaign spokesperson, Hannah Stoddart said: "Thousands of Coldplay fans are adding their voices to an ever increasing and powerful global call for action to stop land grabs. The World Bank can help ensure that land deals do not leave poor communities without a place to live or grow food. They must act now."