Her video essay, “Pacific Rim Gold Mining in El Salvador: From Here to There,” was produced as a final project for SLIS 875: New Media, Experimental Theory and Critical Information Design, taught by English Professor Jon McKenzie in spring 2011.
The project deals with the social effects of a now defunct proposal by the Canadian company Pacific Rim Mining Corp. to operate a gold and silver mine in Northern El Salvador. Facing strong opposition from civil society and negative public opinion, the Salvadoran government refused to grant extraction permits in 2009. The company is currently suing El Salvador under the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA).
“When I first started researching extractive industries in 2010, the impacts of metallic mining seemed far away from Wisconsin, in places such as the Cabañas region of El Salvador, which is the focus of my video,” said Hopke. “However, earlier this year our own state had to grapple with similar issues with the proposed Gogebic Taconite iron ore mine in the Penokee Range of Northern Wisconsin near the Bad River reservation. That gives new meaning to the ‘from here to there’ theme of my work, as we need to draw connections between the potential environmental and social impacts of mining both here in Wisconsin and globally.”
Sponsored by the Digital Humanities Initiative and UW-Madison Libraries, with support from DoIt Academic Technology, the Digital Salon is designed to showcase undergraduate and graduate student work which utilizes new information communication technologies in their production. Projects are produced as part of UW-Madison courses or independently. To learn more visit here.