GALLUP, N.M. — Activists are using virtual reality technology to focus on areas of the Navajo Nation affected by uranium contamination.
The arts collective Bombshelltoe has collected 360-degree footage of land near Churchrock, New Mexico, to show how people and the land have changed since a 1979 uranium mill spill, the Gallup Independent reports .
The film, titled “Ways of Knowing,” was directed by artist Kayla Briet.
The project started four years ago after Washington, D.C.-based nuclear policy program manager Lovely Umayam met Navajo activist Sunny Dooley at an event in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Filmmaker Adriel Luis is also a co-producer of the movie.
“Sunny asked us during this meeting, ‘Where is your heart?’ And it caught my – along with everyone else’s – attention,” Umayam said.
In 1979, a dam on the Navajo Nation near Church Rock broke at a uranium mill’s evaporation pond, releasing 94 million gallons (356 million liters) of radioactive waste into the Puerco River.
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