Progress and Displacement

In the most remote parts of the world where the bull­doz­ers con­tin­ue to push ahead in the name of so-called progress, those people who are affect­ed the most are the few remain­ing, intact farm­ing cul­tures and indige­nous com­mu­ni­ties. This the­mat­ic focus takes us to the high­est regions of Colom­bia and the Pampas of north­ern Brazil, where we encounter obvi­ous oppo­sites. While the indige­nous people in Colom­bia wear white hand-woven cloth­ing, this is a stark con­trast to the indus­tri­al, worn out denim clothes mass-pro­duced in a town in Brazil. Yet this tex­tile dif­fer­ence alone demon­strates the loss of cul­tur­al diver­si­ty. What is won by ‘progress’? What is lost?

The Arhua­co in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta in the north of Colom­bia have been defend­ing their tra­di­tion­al way of life for cen­turies. Now, there are only a few of them left, yet they insist on main­tain­ing their cul­ture and their self-deter­mi­na­tion. THINKING LIKE A MOUNTAIN by Alexan­der Hick is a cin­e­mato­graph­ic mon­u­ment to these people.

Ivan Boccara’s PASTORALES shows what already hap­pened in Europe more than one hun­dred years ago. In this film, elec­tric­i­ty is spread­ing and taking over the High Atlas Moun­tains in Moroc­co – for the ben­e­fit of the local small farm­ers and shep­herds. But what kind of progress is this? The local pop­u­la­tion are now hooked on the soap operas on TV.

In the emerg­ing coun­try of Brazil, things have advanced even fur­ther. In Tori­ta­ma, all the inhab­i­tants work in the jeans man­u­fac­tur­ing busi­ness, mostly in small fac­to­ries run by fam­i­lies. They are proud to man­u­fac­ture prod­ucts that are extreme­ly pop­u­lar, although they are actu­al­ly bor­der­ing on self-exploita­tion. This is clear­ly an unhealthy and not very prof­itable sit­u­a­tion, as Marce­lo Gomes’ essay film WAITING FOR THE CARNIVAL demon­strates through its very per­son­al approach.

Pastorales
(PASTORALES ÉLECTRIQUES)

Ivan Boccara
Morocco 2017 | 93 min | engl. subtitled
Sat, 01-Jun-19 03:00 PM
Q&A with: Ivan Boccara
For cen­turies, the Berbers in the Middle and High Atlas Moun­tains have been sub­sist­ing on farm­ing and rais­ing cattle. How­ev­er, they are no longer able to make a living from … read more

Thinking like a Mountain

Alexander Hick
Columbia, Germany 2018 | 93 min | engl. subtitled
Fri, 31-May-19 03:30 PM
Sat, 01-Jun-19 10:00 PM
Q&A with: Alexander Hick
The Arhua­co live in the high­est moun­tains of Colom­bia. They wear their tra­di­tion­al white clothes as they have for many cen­turies and main­tain their cul­ture and spir­i­tu­al­i­ty, which is tight­ly … read more

Waiting for the Carnival

Marcelo Gomes
Brazil 2018 | 89 min | engl. subtitled
Sat, 01-Jun-19 08:00 PM
The small town of Tori­ta­ma in the barren land­scape of north-east­ern Brazil has declared itself the “cap­i­tal do jeans.” Mil­lions of pairs of jeans are made there every year, most … read more