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Bogotá-based artist collective brings sneak peak of experimental films on migration

Mariana Puerto López of Curatorial Cinema.
Mariana Puerto López of Curatorial Cinema. Behind her on the screen are group members participating remotely from Colombia, Mexico, and Spain.

“We want to consider the possibilities and potential in migration more than focus only on migration as a crisis,” said Mariana Puerto López, member of the Bogotá-based transnational artists’ collective Curatorial Cinema, who discussed the organization’s new project with an audience at Duke on March 4, 2020.

Puerto and other group members, who participated remotely from Bogotá, Mexico City, and Madrid, provided a sneak preview and behind-the-scenes analysis of CC’s documentary project 24 Horas de Fronteras Abiertas/24 hours of Open Borders. The experimental documentary will consist of 24 films that will examine migration, especially flows in the Western Hemisphere. Filmmakers participating in the project, designed to upend typical analyses of migration, are imagining what might happen during a day of open borders.

The preview of the first film included footage shot clandestinely along a route commonly taken by Venezuelans who migrate to Colombia; scenes of a creative example of spontaneous land art, filmed in the United States; and illustrations of how CC members interact and create with one another from different locations.

While at Duke, Puerto also facilitated “Ni Víctimas Ni Victimarios/Neither Victims nor Victimizers,” an interactive workshop in which each of ten volunteers performed an assigned role of a person associated with migration. Roles ranged from a Salvadoran migrant to a United Nations official to President Donald Trump. 

The events were organized and sponsored by the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies certificate programs and co-sponsored by the departments of Art, Art History, and Visual Studies and Cultural Anthropology; the Franklin Humanities Institute’s Human Rights Center, Social Movements Lab, and Social Practice Lab; the Duke Center for International and Global Studies; and the Duke Forum for Scholars and Publics.