Oscar winners will receive a statuette without gold, in an action against illegal metal mining

The largest indigenous group in the Amazon rainforest, the Yanomami, have created an alternative version of the Oscar statuette. Without using gold as a raw material, the object takes the form of the deity Omama and will be sent to the winners of the world’s most famous film awards. The idea is to draw global attention to the humanitarian crisis of indigenous people caused by illegal metal mining. The campaign was created by the DM9 agency.

Before the winners receive the statuette, the twenty main Oscar nominees will receive a video message via social media from Junior Hekurari Yanomami, head of the Urihi Associação Yanomami (watch here). Among the stars to be affected are Angela Bassett, Jamie Lee Curtis, Kerry Condon, Stephanie Hsu, Hong Chau, Brendan Gleeson, Judd Hirsch, Brian Tyree Henry, Barry Keoghan, Ke Huy Quan, Brendan Fraser, Colin Farrell, Austin Butler, Bill Nighy, Paul Mescal, Andrea Riseborough, Cate Blanchett, Michelle Williams, Ana de Armas and Michelle Yeoh.

The campaign will also lead artists and the public to a digital calculator that shows the social and natural impact of every gram of illegal gold on the Amazon rainforest and the Yanomami people. “In your culture, gold means success. For my people, for the forest and the creatures that still exist in the Amazon, it means death and destruction,” says Junior.

In 2021, 54% of gold traded in Brazil had evidence of illegal origin. In recent years, illegal exploitation has intensified in the Yanomami indigenous lands, causing mercury contamination of rivers and fish, deforestation and a strong social impact on the indigenous population, leading to a humanitarian tragedy, ignored by the authorities until recently. “All participants of this award can and have helped to shape the behavior of the world many times. They need to know what the real price of illegal gold is and help spread this message so that we can see changes,” adds the Yanomami leader.

The producer was Hungry Man, the direction is by Hanna Batista, and the audio production is by Pingado.

For more information about the project, visit: https://thecostofgold.com/

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