Re: [Videolib] Juan Manuel Echavarria

Delin, Peter (
Thu, 16 Mar 2006 14:17:03 +0100

Dear Susanna,

seems to be difficult.

This institution in Sitzerland specialized in art from Latinamerica probably has a DVD-edition of the
seven part video for loan. You might contact them (DVD edition mentioned
by this museum in Finland[showUid]=17&cHash=3c2dc73b88

The Flaherty Seminar in NY had a projection of the video in 2004
mentioned in Film Comment:
"Of a newer crop of poetic docs, the devastating Bocas de Ceniza (Mouths
of Ash) (04), by Juan Manuel Echavarria, was head-and-shoulders the find
of the Seminar. Literally. In tight long-take close-ups framed against a
neutral background, a series of rural Columbian peasants forcibly
displaced from their homes by military operations sing simple, mournful
songs of their own devising about oppression and, especially, a massacre
of unarmed civilians by government troops. In Echavarria’s eloquent
trope, the CU’s isolate singers from their spatial contexts while their
collected songs speak to an unquenchable spirit of collective struggle."
- seems to be a great work.

Also helpful might be to contact the Columbian Ambassy in Washington
They have supported screenings of this video in the past.

With kind regards
Peter Delin/Videolektorat
Zentral- und Landesbibliothek Berlin

Info about the film:
Juan Manuel Echavarría
Bocas de ceniza / Mouths of Ashes, 2003
Series of 7 videos

Echavarria was a writer for thirty years before turning to fine arts to
make use of the pictorial and documentary qualities of this medium for
his socio-political concerns. In his photo series and video films he
deals with the power of the drug cartel and various forms of violence in
Columbia that have become – after fifty years of civil war – shockingly

Bocas de ceniza /Mouths of Ashes – is what the Spanish conquerors of
Columbia called the estuary mouth of the Magdalena River, so named
because of the day of its discovery (Ash Wednesday). Today the name is
cynically ambiguous: the corpses of victims of the devastating drug wars
are found floating in the river again and again. In the video Echavarria
portrays the Afro-Columbians living on the Caribbean coast of Columbia.
Most of them are poor farmers, until recently a minority with almost no
rights caught between all the war fronts. In keeping with their oral
traditions, they sing self-composed songs about their traumatic experiences.
51st Venice Biennale, 2005

Juan Manuel Echavarria, born in Medellin, Columbia, lives and works in

susanna eng schrieb:
> Hi Libbers -
> I was wondering if any of you were familiar with the artist Juan Mnuel
> Echavarria. A Faculty member has requested that I purchase a documentary
> entitled "Bocas de Ceniza" (Mouth of Ash), but I can't see if or where
> it is available. I know it's the title of an exhibit of his from a few
> years ago, but again, I am not sure of its availability. Does anyone
> know anything about it by any chance?
> Thanks in advance!
> Susanna.
> **
> --
> ____________________________________________
> Susanna Eng
> Assistant Instructional Services Coordinator
> Information Services Division
> University of Southern California
> Tel: (213) 740-8349
> Email:
> ____________________________________________

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