Cinetico Santa Maria

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This weekend we officially started Cine al Campo!! The project has been developing smoothly, with a lot of energy. We have been receiving help from La Marimba, a Colombian cultural organization which generates artistic projects, making the invisible visible, empowering cultural local manifestations, and closing the gap between communities and art expressions. Within their platform we will continue creating and establishing Cine al Campo, throughout Guatavita area at first, and then extending to other Colombian regions.

We arrived Friday afternoon at the rural school of Vereda Santa María,  the most distant area of Guatavita municipality. The arid landscape here contrasts with the green and fertile lands of Chaleche, the vereda where La Juanita is located. As we arrived, kids started to appear from nowhere, one by one, some in groups, others with their parents, very timidly they went into the classroom, took their seats, and with a kind of nervous smile, waited for the function to begin!!

And it did, first a documentary made by Nicolás Spath and Nevardo Guerrero, covering education in Guatavita, was shown. People interacted with the displayed video, as many of the faces projected on the screen where known. Then we spoke a little bit about the aim of this project, about how we want to start it, but in the near future it should maintain itself, run by the communities where it will be developed.

Kirikou was the movie shown at Santa María, a beautiful animation which tells the stories of an african village, in their strugle to survive amidst the constant efforts of an evil witch to destroy them. We could hear laughs and surprise gasps throughout the movie, and a big and long applause when it ended. A little discussion then followed, people where surprised about the sense of community displayed among the african villagers, they expressed their lack of such closeness within themselves, and manifested that events like Cine al Campo could help strenghthen the community ties.

For many it was their first cinema experience.  People in this region don’t have access to cultural activities or family entertainment options. We spoke with a 16 year old boy, who told us he had never been in Bogotá, nor attended an activity like this one before. He works in the coal mines near the school, which he does not attend as he needs to earn money for sustaining himself. His life goes from the coal mine to his shack, and back again the next morning, day after day… His eyes where shining with emotion, as he thanked us for being there.

The next day, saturday night, we performed the second screening at Café el Machete, in Guatavita new Town. This place, after we did the first exposition of Mano en Mano project, has started to be a cultural center in the town. People have been coming in the last weeks proposing local art exhibitions, and a cultural agenda is being built for the following months. We projected Bad Day to Go Fishing, an Uruguayan movie displaying the tension between an apparently monotonous town, and foreigner entrainment charlatans. The first of many movie projectios,  it will hopefully be!!