I was invited to Colombia by Vanessa Gocksch / Intermundos to give a VJ workshop in connection with the Salón Internacional del Autor Audiovisual film festival in Barranquilla in August 2005. Afterwards me and Vanessa were contacted by the Kogi tribe, with a request to teach them VJing.
Kogis are one of the more than 100 native peoples of Colombia. The core Kogi community lives high up in the Sierra Nevada mountains and has been able to preserve their language, customs and beliefs. The National Geographic magazine had donated them a video camera and a computer, with the idea that they could use these to make documentaries about their life themselves. However, since the Kogis don’t have a written language, they did not feel comfortable with the concept of a documentary – a fixed, static document. They rather wanted to learn the skills to present the video material in form of a live video performance.
The Kogis believe that their task is to ’sustain the equilibrium of the Universe’. They have several sacred locations on their lands where their spiritual leaders can connect to the Earth and channel wisdom to the tribe. The Kogis wish that they could use the video material to send out a warning to the ‘Little brothers’, to inform us that the way we are currently treating the environment is dangerous for the future of this planet. They also hope that educating people about their way of life will help them to maintain the control over their lands. Video is also seen as an efficient tool for reporting any potential misuse of their lands.
- Photos from the VJ workshop with the Kogi tribe
- From the Heart of the World, The Elder Brother’s Warning, a BBC documentary on the Kogi tribe
- Misc photos from the VJ workshop in Barranquilla (gathering video footage around the city, including a visit to Bocas de Ceniza, the place where Magdalena River meets the Caribbean Sea)
- Misc photos from Santa Marta, Taganga, Tayrona nature reserve and Quebrada Valencia