Women Hold Up the Sky

African women rise for climate justice

Through the eyes and experiences of women impacted by coal, oil and mega-infrastructure projects in South Africa, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, Women Hold Up the Sky explores stories of resistance and communities in active struggle to take back control of their land, their rights, their bodies and their lives.

In South Africa, the women of adjacent communities in KwaZulu-Natal, Somkhele and Fuleni, fight against the encroachments of a coal mine. The mine uses vast water resources to wash coal in preparation for export whilst women walk up to 25 kilometres per day to access drinking water. “Can you see the dust we drink? … What are we supposed to do? Imagine what our insides must be like? No good comes from the mine,” says Khiphile Msweli. In Uganda, land-grabbings and forced removal of thousands of people to make way for oil exploration has left communities in despair yet determined to rise up to defend their land and livelihoods. The Democratic Republic of Congo’s US$80 billion Inga hydropower mega-dam project has already displaced many. The Grand Inga, the world’s largest hydropower scheme, promises a power grid across Africa that will fuel the continent’s industrial economic development vision all at the expense of poor communities.

Follow their journeys as they fight for voice, build inspiring solidarity and take action in the face of violent repression.

Launches and Upcoming Events

The official South Africa launch of Women Hold Up the Sky was held on November 12, 2019 in Johannesburg.

The official Uganda launch of Women Hold Up the Sky was held on November 22, 2019.

Tues, 3 MarchCelebrating Womanhood Festival, Kampala, Uganda at the National Theatre Auditorium. Women Hold up the Sky was screened as part of the official opening ceremony, and nominated in the Best Documentary category!

Thurs, 5 Marchour partner, Afrikagrupperna held the official Swedish launch of Women Hold up the Sky. Find out more details on this event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/145105086493013/ .

Sun, 8 MarchWomen Hold up the Sky featured on the line-up in South Africa’s RapidLion-South African International Film Festival and as part of the festival’s radical Women Directed Documentaries event to celebrate International Women’s’ Day. 

Sun, 15 Marchscreening at The Eastern Cape Film Festival in East London, South Africa.

25 June-16 JulyWomen Hold up the Sky is available online for a limited time with free screenings till 16 July as part of the vFringe of the virtual National Arts Festival in Makhanda, South Africa.

Tues, 28 JulyCape Town TV (CTV) will broadcast the film to the greater Cape Town area and on DStv Channel 263 at 9 pm.

The official launch of the film in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is scheduled for late July 2020.


Photo Credits
Pascaline Mabondo, DRC © WoMin  (left)
Betti Kusemererwa and Jolly Kabonesa, Uganda © WoMin  (top-right)
Fakazile Khuluse, South Africa © WoMin  (bottom-right)