Sala (S8) Palexco | Saturday June 8th | 1:00 pm | Free entry to all venues until full capacity. It will not be possible to enter the venues after the screening has started.

Marie Louise Alemann | 1977 | Argentina | Super 8 | 8 min

The camera seeks out a person in disguise. Alemann attempts to disappear into the foliage of the Tigre delta in the province of Buenos Aires, an area in which to take refuge during the most repressive Argentine dictatorship of the 20th century. Filmed by Claudio Caldini. The original film of this short has been lost. (Federico Windhausen)



María Rojas | 2021 | Colombia, Portugal | 16 mm, 4 k transfer | 25 min 47 s

On 19 July 1929 in a village in Colombia, a group of shoemakers fought to improve living and working conditions in the country. They were called “The Bolsheviks of Lebanon, Tolima.” Their revolution lasted just one day and they tried to erase all trace of it. The women of the village meet Aura, an anarchist grandmother, with the feeling that their rebellion is still ongoing. (María Rojas)


Annalisa D. Quagliata | 2016 | México | 16 mm | 2 min 44 s

Ñores (sin señalar) reminds us that Mexico is a country where those who point out and denounce corruption and impunity get silenced. The central focus is the multiple homicide of the photojournalist Rubén Espinosa and the activists Nadia Vera, Alejandra Negrete, Yesenia Quiroz and Mile Virginia; an iconic event that exemplifies the growing violence in the state of Veracruz. The use of black and white film lends it an aspect from another era: the context of violence and injustice may exist today, but the problems are the same as before: they are like an old tale being repeated over and over again. (Annalisa D. Quagliata) 


Sofía Gallisá | 2019 | Puerto Rico | 16 mm | 2 min 22 s

A portrait of the recreation of a peasants’ structure where Luis Muñoz Marín, the first elected governor of Puerto Rico (1948–1964), met with the politicians and intellectuals of his time. Filmed after the passing of Hurricane María in Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico. Thanks to Kathryn Ramey for her help. 16 mm hand-developed with anamú (guinea hen weed), a medicinal plant native to Puerto Rico. (Sofía Gallisá)


Azucena Losana | 2023 | México | Super 8 | 3 min 51 s

In the worldview of the Otomí (an ethnic group from central Mexico), corn or the wise seed fell in the form of drops to fertilise the world. The agricultural activity around it marks the ceremonial cycles. As a votive offering and for gratitude, tortillas are prepared and painted with the natural dye of the Mexican honeysuckle. Seals carved in mesquite wood are used, with illustrations alluding to nature or the Holy Cross. For the community, the grandmothers are a bridge to the sacred. They give their daughters or granddaughters the seals they once inherited, along with the belief that the stove is a sacred place, and that these tortillas that feed the body and soul are synonymous with joy. (Azucena Losana)


Cristiana Miranda | 2018 | Brazil | 16 mm | 11 min 35 s

A chorus of female voices; the deep murmur of underground waters. Words written and dreamed, memory rediscovered, ecstasy and illumination. (Cristiana Miranda)


Andrea Novoa | 2020 | Chile | 16 mm | 14 min

Disastres Naturales #3, filmed in Cuba and Chile, is the encounter between three films and three territories. It is a personal tale using experiments that manifest themselves in images and writings in a diary to portray encounters experienced and places inhabited, riddled with forces of nature, colours, accidents and struggles. Dedicated to Lena. (Andrea Novoa)




I think of this programme more as a question or a mirror. Maybe it is a mirror that broke and now reflects in different directions: in the different cardinal points, from the cosmos, from the earth, from underground, from the material and the immaterial, from the spirit and body. This way of thinking about experimental cinema in Latin America grew like a creeping vine when I migrated to Europe. How much have we assimilated, and how much are we changing/influencing it? The cinema that was born in the United States and Europe, the cinema that turned into an escape and an alternative to industry and the system: how can we resist a fantasy that reflects something far removed from our situations? And which changed some of our lives so much.

I go through films out of curiosity, out of a state of things that pulsates alongside the telluric noises I grew up with: the Pacific breeze and the blaring horns from public transport, creating a noise musical of urban frenzy. Our rhythms collide with other artificial rhythms of analogue cameras and projectors; the memories, the fumes, the sweat and tears obscuring the movie screen.

That is what opens up with this programme, evoking and recalling that “in-between” that Gloria Anzaldúa spoke of: I want to open up the field to reflect upon it as a hybrid work. It is a contradiction between the niche and self-management, between the collective and the individual, between the patriarchal and the dissident, between the snobbish and the caring. There are tensions that run through us and intertwine. What bridges are the films we shoot? 

The title is a quote from the book by Gloria Anzaldúa and Cherrie Morága, This bridge called my back, originally published in 1981, in which the two bring together diverse voices of women, some of whom are dissidents and all of them of colour, residing in the United States, to question white Anglo-Saxon feminism. They do so through the experience of migration and diaspora. I take this anthology as an inspiration, with the intention of discussing the interventions, transformations and desires for experimental cinema that are born out of and made from some Latin American female subjectivities, germinated in different contexts and affected by various journeys. I do so without romanticising, without deifying, and without flattering too much. I observe the complexities of our similarities and differences so that our creativity, as Audre Lorde would say, “can spark like a dialectic.”

Relationships between female authors do not come about simply through similarity, but more through the desire to engage in a complex dialogue; one dense with layers, like an ear of corn yet to be peeled. Each of them comes from different latitudes of the land today known as Latin America. Some, like many, and like myself, took the decision and got the chance to migrate north. In some cases, this was due to the same desire to make films and/or to specialise in them.

There are some characteristics that influenced the selection, such as the preference for films made via analogue, since this is a principle topic of discussion and debate when questions arise about Latin American experimental cinema. The difficulty in accessing this format means there are fewer possibilities to produce it and also to disseminate it, as a result of the disappearance of venues with apparatus for this type of experience, as well as the difficulty of the costs and availability of stock. Nevertheless, there are examples that demonstrate various ways of turning the inaccessibility on its head, such as the predominant use of black and white in the films selected, due to the ease of developing such film in a homemade way with organic methods. That said, many of us are aware that experimentation is not exclusive to this format, and that most films today are finished off with digital software. Just as Gloria appropriated and blended Anglo-Saxon language with her Mexican Spanish when writing, I am interested in rethinking and proposing an observation of these films as in a question, taking into account this possibility of language transformation, in order to decentralise.

The words and voices of personal and collective stories run through and sustain these works, like cuttings or the leaves of a tree; like a sequence of tears shed. There are voices that demand; that recall memories that force us to forget them. Files that are salvaged and worked upon. Intuitive images based on encounters, tributes and searches. There is confrontation between one’s gaze and imagined scenes, without denying the influence of experimental cinema—which perhaps we may now call hegemonic—from a few decades ago and which we still love. Most of the artists work in self-managed collective projects that foster experimental production within their contexts, and also in some cases they are part of projects involving curating, mediating and preserving. In other words, the relationship with cinema is not only exclusive to creation. Dissemination, education and alternative distribution are also understood to be essential practices for it to continue to exist, without casting aside the inevitable exclusivity of access to this type of experimental education in Latin America, which is normally concentrated in progressive upper-middle class communities.

The landscape is a constant in films, but it is presented as a witness to political stories, to censored memories, to camouflage when confronted by an oppressive force, and to paying tribute to the social struggles of others. 

This is the first installment of the Latin American programme that we began in (S8). I wish to thank Ángel Rueda and Elena Duque for the invitation to plant, cultivate, and grow a garden with familiar fragrances.

Ivonne Sheen Mogollón

Cologne, Germany

April 2024