SILENCIOSA, SILENCIADA

2024

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‘Silenciosa, Silenciada’ is a 20-minute experimental documentary. The project was winner of the call for national artistic residencies in plastic and visual arts from IDARTES. The film is accompanied by two in-situ installations: a bouquet of Colombian flowers bought in a local flower shop in Montreal; and a coffee shop price list, whit the dollar values of the average daily wage of a coffee farmer in the region of Cachipay, Colombia. Through re-visiting my family’s old coffee farm and my grandfather’s death, the film aims to make a portrait of the Chagas disease, while questioning the transition from coffee farms to floral foliage monocrops in the region.

Endemic to the American continent, this illness is spread by insects in the subfamily Triatominae, known as ‘kissing bugs.’ The parasite that produces it, the Trypanosoma cruzi, has been detected in ancient human remains across South America, some as old as 9000 years old. Through portraying the artisanal and almost forgotten processes of picking, peeling, and drying coffee beans, as well as the transition to export floral foliage crops in the region, the film creates a double narration; on the one hand, tells the story of my grandfather’s disease, and on the other, it explores the fact that the 'kissing bug' has expanded its habitat. From 1,300 meters above sea level, it has reached 2,600 in recent years.