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Open-air cinema: Rio Arriba (Upriver)
Felipe Castelblanco

  • Film

›Upriver‹ is a two-channel film essay that follows a journey upstream the Putumayo River in the Colombian Pan Amazon region. This journey reveals a vertical landscape with planetary resonance, where indigenous resistance, trees, soils, clouds, light, and shadow inter-exist. Departing from the Siona territory in the lower Amazon at 300 M.A.S.L to the Quillacinga territory in the highlands of the Colombian Andes at 3000 M.A.S.L, this film takes the viewer along a meandering river that cuts across territories in dispute. It is here where overlapping sovereignties emerge and extractive industries clash with human and non-human communities resisting violence across this vertical axis of power and occupation.


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Felipe Castelblanco is a multidisciplinary artist and researcher working at the intersection of participatory, film, and Media Art. His work explores institutional forms, creates platforms for inter-epistemic dialogue, ventures out into new frontiers of publicness, and engages unlikely audiences in remote places. Castelblanco holds an MFA from Carnegie Mellon University (USA) and earned a Ph.D. from the Kunstuniversität Linz (Austria) and the Academy of Art and Design Basel FHNW, exploring avenues for epistemic justice in the Colombian Pan-Amazon region. In 2015 he served as a Cultural Emissary for the U.S State Department to the Philippines, through which he developed an ambitious participatory project around inter-cultural diplomacy at sea. Castelblanco has been the recipient of several international awards.

Direction, production: Felipe Castelblanco
Script, Montage: Felipe Castelblanco
Research: Felipe Castelblanco & Ayênan Quinchoa
Camera: Felipe Castelblanco & Lydia Zimmermann
Drone: Felipe Castelblanco & Ayênan Quinchoa
Music: Liam Ze’ev O’Connor
Ambient sounds: Siona Healers
Archive material: Erste Minga des Denkens und des Widerstands, Siona Ziobain Volk. 2017 Kolumbianisches Ministerium für Verteidigung. Press Release June 23rd, 2018

Special thanks: Taita Hernando Chindoy, Familia Mojomboy, Taita Camilo Rodriguez Quispe, Taita Sandro Piaguaje. The Inga, Kamënstá, Quillacinga and Siona Nations of Putumayo, Cauca and Nariño. Ayênan Quinchoa, Heraldo Vallejo, Monica Bustamante, Camilo Pachón, Lydia Zimmermann, Francisco Carballo, Patrice Keenan und Ñambi Rimai: Pan-Amazonisches Kommunikationskollektiv.
Supported by: Fachausschuss Film und Medienkunst, Kanton Basel-Stadt, Prohelvetia: Coincidencia Colombia