Counter Balance, Platform and Re:Common are pleased to announce the launch of the webdocumentary “Walking the Line”. This webdocumentary presents the risks associated with the Euro-Caspian Mega Pipeline or Southern Gas Corridor. One of the biggest pipelines ever conceived, the corridor is supposed to stretch 3500 km from Azerbaijan to Italy and supply Europe with gas for many decades to come. Through vivid pictures, infographics and videos, the webdoc invites the public to walk along the pipeline and have a look at the devastating consequences it would have for the people and the environment.
Inspired by a visit to Azerbaijan during the European Games in 2015, during which one of us was detained, this webdoc takes us on a journey from Caucasus to London, via Italy. It tells the stories of the Azerbaijani prisoners of conscience Khadija Ismayilova and Intigam Aliyev as well as that of the young entrepreneurs, artists and citizens of the community of Melendugno in southern Italy protesting against the construction of the western section of the corridor (the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline, TAP) –now expected to receive a 2 billion euros loan from the European Investment Bank.
“Walking the line” is the story of the people who share their lives with the pipeline, but also of the governments and institutions that support the project. The webdoc portrays an EU that plays dumb when it comes to its climate commitments and is ready to turn a blind eye to Azerbaijan’s appalling human rights record and partner with the corrupt regime of Ilham Aliyev. It sheds light on the suspicious links between the Aliyev family and the British oil company BP and exposes the interests of big energy corporations lobbying the EU in favour of gas, despite evidence of declining demand.
But the documentary also shows that an alternative is possible. The last stop of the journey is a deprived London suburb, where citizens are setting up their own renewable energy projects. Instead of fuelling poverty and securing huge profits for big companies, such initiatives encourage sustainable solutions and empower those involved.
These are the same values that the EU is supposed to promote. Yet it is giving huge financial and political support to the Southern Gas Corridor thus supporting a corrupt regime, and threatening the livelihood of many. It’s not too late to choose a different future.
You can find our dedicated website to the webocumentary here.