My Listen Up!

Beyond Green

Re-defining environment in a global documentary project

As world leaders bicker and stumble to find common ground to stop global warming and environmental destruction, young people worldwide are taking up the fight for their own survival. "Beyond Green" is about their fight. In collaboration with Adobe Youth Voices, Listen Up! is working with youth filmmakers in nine countries to tell personal stories about youth addressing local environmental crises and what they’re doing about it.

In Africa's largest slum in Nairobi, Kenya, youth band together to offer alternatives for people without running water and adequate sanitation. On the other side of the Atlantic, youth-led "Toxic Soil Busters" make it their business to get lead out of the ground and their community. And below the equator, indigenous youth from rural Colombia, pressed as young children into harvesting coca leaves, now work with the "Indigenous Guard," a group that seeks non-violent means to defend indigenous rights and teach local culture. These, as well as stories by youth in Armenia, Cuba, Brazil, India, Serbia, Thailand and five more cities in the USA, comprise the Beyond Green compilation, the follow up to our Peabody Award-winning “Beyond Borders: Personal Stories from a Small Planet.”

Download the press release (PDF).

NEWS: Sxabue's Umbilical Cord screens at Paley Center's 2010 Docu-Jam!

The tenth Annual Docu-Jam is a unique youth documentary showcase presented by The Paley Center for Media, in association with Downtown Community Television Center in New York, as part of its PALEYDOCFEST2010. Beyond Green short doc, Sxabue's Umbilical Cord will screen as part of this year's festival. Watch online.


Voiceless Children / Nairobi, Kenya

16 year-old David Were lives in Kibera, Africa’s largest slum on the outskirts of Kenya’s capital city, Nairobi. Basic facilities like the bathroom become an enormous chore as the family uses buckets and plastic bags to dispose of human waste. The bags, or “flying toilets,” are not just a problems for David’s family, but have become an ecological obstacle for the entire community who toss bags from the window, afraid to leave their homes at night. For David and his friends, their work to provide security, latrines and clean up projects for the flying toilets, is more than a struggle for a healthier environment. Listen to the filmmakers and subjects on the Leonard Lopate show discussing the film.

Say Si / San Antonio, TX

19 year-old Diana López always aspired to be a pilot and since the Kelly Air Force base is in her neighborhood, she was convinced that joining the Air Force was the best way to reach her goal. After graduation, she had one last summer in San Antonio to intern at a local environmental justice organization.

"Hands of Love" and "Image of Contamination" were screened as part of the 'Youth Producing Change' part of the Human Rights Watch Film Festival.

Worcester Roots / Worcester, MA

Once a booming center of the American Industrial Revolution, Worcester, Massachusetts’ Main South area is now showing sings of abandonment with children at risk of brain damage, stunted growth and reproductive problems caused by lead poisoning found in their own backyards. 16 year-old Janice Serrano and her friends founded a cooperative business, Toxic Soil Busters, to battle brownfields with environmental entrepreneurship and revitalize an entire community.

Manana Youth Center / Yerevan, Armenia

The outskirts of Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, are bleak. While 12 year-old Arthur is proud of his birthplace and home, he has also witnessed the elimination of almost all of Yerevan’s trees for firewood during an energy crisis. Developers have decided to build a garage on his deserted and dusty school playground where only one poor, semi-withered tree survives. Arthur is determined to save the tree and build a real garden with the help of this ecologist grandfather, schoolmates and teachers.

Polimorfo / López Adentro, Colombia

In the tradition of Colombia’s Nasa indigenous people, Edilfredo’s mother buried his umbilical chord to honor Edilfredo’s first tie to Mother Earth. The challenges of violence an alcoholism in rural Colombia have strained Edilfredo’s close ties to the Earth and at 13 years old he began harvesting coca leaves for export an even considered joining an armed militia group. Edilfredo, who is now 17, has rediscovered his connection with the Earth and is working with the Indigenous Guard to cultivate diverse crops that nourish the human body, the indigenous spirit and the natural environment.

Open Youth Networks / Chicago, IL

When Marisol Becerra was a little girl, she thought that the huge smokestacks in her community, Chicago’s “Little Village,” were a “Cloud Factory.” Years later, as she watched her younger sister Brenda suffer from Asthma, she realized that the Cloud Factory is a coal burning power plant. With none of the jobs at the Crawford Power Plant for local residents and any of the power it generates for Chicago, Marisol and a few friends began to organize and fight this environmental injustice. They mobilized youth to educate the people of Little Village to take action and demand change to close the Cloud Factory once and for all.


Adobe Youth Voices is the Adobe Foundation’s global philanthropic initiative that empowers youth from underserved communities worldwide to comment on their world using multimedia and digital tools to communicate and share their ideas, demonstrate their potential, and take action in their communities. By harnessing the energy and insight of youth and enabling them to express themselves, their opinions, and aspirations, Adobe Youth Voices aims to inspire a dialogue for change in their communities. The program’s goal is to empower young people, 13-18 years old, to create with purpose and to comment on their world by using multimedia and digital tools. Youth are expressing what they care about through documentary film-making, photography, print journalism, radio diaries, Web communications and other media to underserved communities around the globe. The Adobe Youth Voices global network now includes 158 sites, grantees, and organizations, in 31 countries engaging over 15,000 youth and 500 educators in schools and out of school programs. For more information,