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Ximena Garrido-Lecca

The video (title to be confirmed) shows landscapes and scenes of everyday life and culture from different highland regions of Peru, where the overwhelming presence of nature and its cycles, still determines the life and world-view of its inhabitants. These images are gradually interweaved with clips filmed in diverse locations in Belgium, where technology and capital investment, are used to examine and exert control over nature, using scientific resources to tame its forces, tailoring it to the service of human beings.
Progressive audio narrations appear within both parallel visual perspectives. Local people from a small village in the southern region of the Peruvian Andes, narrate aspects of their co-existence with their surroundings, illustrating the interdependency of nature and culture. While describing their perceptions on natural phenomena such as rain, thunders, rainbows, as well as depicting the agricultural cycles, they underline how the landscape helps determine their culture and history. These narrations are juxtaposed with observations made by science professionals recorded in Belgium who explain research processes in fiber optics as well as the fabrication of synthetic diamonds.

Throughout the video, the relationship between science, nature and culture are examined, reminding us of the modern paradigm, in which the division between nature and culture was established. The shift of perception, brought by processes of industrialization and urbanization in European culture are revised, as well as the representation of the cosmos, and nature as mere object, drifting away ancient concepts of nature and turning towards “progress.” Paradoxically, the environmental crisis brought by modernism, has created a new shift in our perspective, rescuing the concept of nature as a living organism again. The once established division between the social space and the natural one has become a place where a constant process of exchange is occurring. Perhaps nowadays we can talk about nature and culture not as two separate entities that co-exist, but as a joined hybrid concept, where industrialized or even synthetic objects made with natural resources, still keep the status of being natural. By considering the different historical, social, economic, political, cultural and geographical processes and the influences of these in nature we can see how these boundaries between one and other gradually blur, giving place to new forms and different flows of adaptable forms.

Ximena Garrido-Lecca


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