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Thread: Film on Afro Colombian Maroon village

  1. #1
    Registered User Seawall's Avatar Seawall is offline
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    Mar 2009

    Film on Afro Colombian Maroon village

    Need to add this to my collection.

    from THIRD CHANNEL on Vimeo.

    Project - Jende ri Palenge

    Dir: Santiago Posada / Simón Mejía
    37:10 min

    San Basilio de Palenque is a small village situated 70 km south of the coastal city of Cartagena de Indias in Colombia, South America. The name ‘Palenque’ was given to the walled communities that were founded by escaped slaves in the XVIIth century. Of the many ‘palenques’ that existed in former times, only San Basilio has survived until the present day. 

San Basilio de Palenque gained its independence at the beginning of the 1700’s and since then, this “corner of Africa in Colombia” has managed to preserve most of its cultural practices through oral tradition, as well as the only Creole language left in the Americas known as “lengua palenquera”; a mixture of Spanish and African languages of Bantu origin.

The village has developed into a unique cultural space and is a clear testimony of the African Diaspora present in Colombia, evident in its unique funeral rites, Lumbalú, its social organization and most notably in its musical heritage that has evolved into unique local styles such as Bullerengue, Son de Negro and Son Palenquero.

Today, San Basilio de Palenque still stands as a symbol of freedom and resistance throughout the continent and was proclaimed in 2005 as a “Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity” by UNESCO.

In 2008 with the support of the Prince Claus fund in Holland, the first ever music - recording studio of the village (San Basilio Estudio) was set up, in an effort to help preserve their musical heritage. This film was shot during the implementation of the project following three of the singers that passed through the studio’s doors.

Jende ri Palenge (People of Palenque) does not simply recount the events of San Basilio Estudio. It’s not either a film that can be regarded as a history documentary of the village. The film reveals the astonishing reality of this magical place, through the eyes of these three distinctive musicians from the village. The character’s witty perceptions illustrate the community's ties to Africa, their love for their music, their endangered native language and their ongoing quest to reaffirm their cultural identity in the increasingly westernized Colombia.

    Film-makers/music producers Santiago Posada and Simon Meija came to Palenque, near the Caribbean coast of Colombia,#### to record the music of the area and to make a documentary film about the music and people of Palenque.
    Palenque, the location of the first free slave (or Maroon) community in the Americas, is also a central location for Afro-Colombian culture. With its own unique style of music and language, heavily influenced by its African heritage, it holds a unique position in the world and is today proclaimed by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.
    The Colombian-born film-makers, who were fascinated by this culture, traveled to Palenque to build a studio in the remote town, west of Cartegena, in order to record the highly percussive roots music that uniquely mixes African and Latin traditions in equal flavours. They stayed in the town for three months, filming the everyday life and recording music from the area and once finished left the studio for the people of the area to use.
    Once back home they enlisted a select number of like-minded electronic, house and dubstup artists to produce a mindblowing second disc of remixes - including some incredible music from Osunlade, Mattias Aguayo, Kromestar and others to interpret the original works.
    "Every onlooker is either a coward or a traitor." — Frantz Fanon

    “If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters.” Frederick Douglass

  2. #2
    Unique woman TriniTrini's Avatar TriniTrini is offline
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    Aug 2007
    Success City
    Very interesting. I feel like going to that part of Columbia. Love the dancing and the friendliness of the people.
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