“Je me souviens, Colombian political refugees in Sherbrooke, Quebec” presented by Salas

  • ©ISEA2016: 22nd International Symposium on Electronic Art, Andrés Salas, Je me souviens, Colombian political refugees in Sherbrooke, Quebec
  • ©ISEA2016: 22nd International Symposium on Electronic Art, Andrés Salas, Je me souviens, Colombian political refugees in Sherbrooke, Quebec

Symposium:


Session Title:

  • Memories

Presentation Title:

  • Je me souviens, Colombian political refugees in Sherbrooke, Quebec

Presenter(s):



Abstract:

  • Je me souviens, (I remember) is a single-channel video installation created after working for seven months with five Colombian political refugees living in Sherbrooke, a city in southeastern Quebec, Canada. Through multiple image and sound textures, it invites the viewer to have different readings of life in exile. Inspired by the theory of recognition developed by the philosopher Axel Honneth, each participant of the project used a video camera to explore three “spheres of interaction” — love, rights, and solidarity — in their daily lives, while reflecting about their past in Colombia. These video recordings are connected to audio-visual portrayals of Sherbrooke and Colombian cities, through dreamy visions and echoes of a pastpresent mixed reality. Voice-overs of the five characters, together with different soundscapes form the voice of the film. A video-editing algorithm mixes images and sounds in real time, presenting a new version of the piece at each projection. This technique of eternal editing builds up a film without a fixed duration, nor a beginning or an end, speaking of exile as a closed circle, a continuous déjà vu where memories, presents and futures of the main characters are mixed.

    The characters
    Ana Cecilia, 53 years old
    She worked with the Colombian army in the region of Norte de Santader. Infiltrated in guerilla groups for 15 years she was declared a target by the ELN group in 2002. She is the mother of three sons and two daughters.

    Juan Ovidio, 49 years old
    Juan was a social worker and teacher in Colombia. After participating in a watchdog group regarding the responsibility of the Colombian army in crimes against civilian population, he was menaced by extreme rightwing groups.

    Dini, 21 years old
    Dini left Colombia with her mother and sister, and together they relocated to Quito, Ecuador. After living there for several years, they moved to Canada as refugees. She is finishing high school and just received her driver’s license.

    Cristina, 52 years old
    Cristina was a judge in Colombia. During the 1990s, she worked in Antioquia, a region whose capital, Medellin, was considered one of the most dangerous cities in the world. After multiple threats were made against her life, Cristina left for Canada.

    Dimas, 23 years old
    Dimas’ dad owned the sole garage for cars in La Union Peneya, a small village in the Caqueta region. After his father was assassinated, Dimas was displaced with his mother and two brothers to the cities of Florencia and Neiva.

Venue(s):


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