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Travel log from Chili. Back to circularity...

// Iphigénie Marcoux-Fortier

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Flight. Land in Santiago. Run. Miss the flight for Temuco. Run. Flight. To the left, the Andes, to the right, the Pacific Ocean. Land in Temuco. It being summer. Fill out the complaint form for Élisa’s suitcase, my suitcase and the suitcase of equipment, which stayed in Santiago. Meet Juan (Juanito), Fresia (Pachi), Roberto, Gerardo who had come to meet us. Look for somewhere to eat in the city. Notice that the only restaurant open in Temuco on a Sunday is Chinese. Bienvenido a Chile! Find a choperia (pub) to sit down in. Speak Mapuzungun. Speak Spanish. Speak Atikamekw. Speak French. Go back to the airport. Notice that only two out of the three suitcases have made it to Temuco. Hope that the suitcase of equipment will arrive. Sleep on the back seats of Roberto’s car on the way to Llaguepulli. Meet the family that would host me for 5 weeks. Learn that a ruka is a traditional Mapuche home and that the family sleeps there when a guest is sleeping in the house. 

Monday, January 13, 2014 

Take a tour of the premises. Go up into the ruka. Go to the back to view Lake Budi. See black-necked swans. The very same that began falling out of the sky in the region in 2004. Move around. Come across chickens, horses, a cart pulled by oxen, goats, sheep and a black llama. At 7pm, meet up to get organized. Start off slowly realizing everything entailed in the word “organized”. Getting organized to hold meetings. Getting organized to communicate. Getting organized to fight. Getting organized to be Mapuche. Introduce yourself to your right. Speak to your neighbor about the project and our concerns. Listen. Say that my main concern is to serve the project and the community as justly as possible. Keep the maté too long. Hear Pachi ask Ariella if she had explained the maté custom to us. Quickly react by giving the maté back. Laugh along with the rest. Listen to Gerardo explain the diagram outlining the mission of the Escuela de Cine y Comunicación Mapuche (the Mapuche School of Cinema and Communication). On one hand, it teaches cinematographic knowledge and techniques through production, scriptwriting, photography and sound recording workshops. On the other hand, it teaches Mapuche communication through workshops in Mapuche and native communication, media and communication history, new media and communication rights. Wherever these two meet is the objective to represent the Mapuche worldview, which comes in varieties of Mapuche kimvn (wisdom) and rakidzuam (thought). Translate from Spanish to French so that “la Élisa” could understand. Talk about the project’s main objectives on our trip. The requirement, or not, to finish a film before we leave. The desire of the local team for the main objective to be to follow a process of Mapuche cinema production, which would involve time. Time for consultation, time for collaboration, time for discussion, time for listening, time for reflection. Reflect. Get back the suitcase of equipment with relief. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014 

Enter into the ruka on the right-hand side. Meet the participants: la Estefania, la Mariana, la Carolina, la Lelin, la Bárbara and el Lihuen. Being told that la Daniela (Jani) isn’t there today. Introduce ourselves, toward the right. As a team, present the project and its development. Take stock of things. How do the participants see the school? What are their expectations, desires and concerns? Listen. Level off. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014 

Spend the day in Malalhue to prepare for the opening of summer school. Help la Élisa prepare the banic, the traditional Atikamekw bread to share for the opening event. Eat lamb stew and a broad bean salad. Go into the ruka for the opening. Listen to the Lonkos (traditional local chiefs), the local team, la Ariella, la Élisa and myself, take the floor to talk about my vision of the project and support of Wapikoni Mobile. Present a few short films. Listen to community’s concerns; understand the importance of the film school in their struggle for identity and territory. Understand that several members of the community are carrying out the project and that its cultural essence is practically vital. 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Driving with el Pelao, coming across people along the way carrying a red flag, telling us that the demonstration is in the other direction. Learn that the Lonko of Llaguepulli got arrested with his 14-year-old son for cutting down wood on reclaimed land. Learn more about the Mapuche territorial reappropriation process. Mapu (territory). Che (people). Mapuche (people of the territory). Feel like I’m in the 20th century by listening to the radio to find out what’s going on. Learn that the Lonko had been freed. 

Sunday, January 19, 2014 

Set off on foot for the sea. Do two activities on the sand with the youth. Make a shell-man appear. Make a crab shell walk. Monday, 

January 20, 2014 

Start the film school. Rescreen the films from last year. As a group, analyze the short films directed by participants from native communities in Quebec. Listen to the participants organize the work schedule. Know that time is going by too quickly. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Listen to the participants talk about potential themes for their film: deforestation and plantation, drought, pollution of the territory, the importance of religious ceremonies in Mapuche culture, traditional silverwork, rukas, discrimination experienced by the Mapuche, Mapuzungun (the Mapuche language). Admire the maturity and seriousness of the chiquillos y chiquillas (youth). Wednesday, 

January 22, 2014 

Witness the sacrifice of a sheep and eat gnachi (ceviche of coagulated blood). Give first scriptwriting workshop. Talk about fiction scripts and documentary scripts. Begin developing ideas about a potential project about the pine and eucalyptus plantations. 

Thursday, January 23, 2014 

Try to resolve technical problems. Continue working on scriptwriting. 

Saturday, January 25, 2014 

Organize the screening of the short films by the young Mapuche for the trawun (Mapuche organization and communication area). Think again about the discussion with Juan and the concept of school, which takes another shape in Mapuche culture. 

Teaching is not done unilaterally. Back to circularity. To the right. 

See the travel log in pictures below!