Heroes Do Exist in Colombia was the name of the first major military propaganda campaign rolled out during ex-president Alvaro Uribe’s (2002-2010) Democratic Security Policy.
The government’s publicists reached for the hearts and minds of Colombians using emotional narratives of war and by constructing an image of the military based on the figure of hero and protector of a population vulnerable in the face of a guerrilla insurgency.
Aimed at convincing Colombians of the need for a security policy at any cost, the propaganda strategy also served as a way to conceal the reproachable role of the government during one of the cruelest periods of the armed conflict marked by paramilitary violence, political corruption and the military practice of inflating body counts by killing innocent civilians.
Aiming for the Heart shows how publicity campaigns become yet another battle ground in the armed conflict, trying to legitimize a war through propaganda and win the support of a divided society.
Direction: Claudia Gordillo and Bruno Federico
Original Idea: Claudia Gordillo
Research Assistant: Camilo Medina
Photography and editing: Bruno Federico
Production: Dance Stationary
Music: Music Multimedia
Duration: 52 minutes
La Quimera – english from Bruno Federico on Vimeo.
In the Cauca department, as in all Colombia, a rush for gold has started.
There arrive people from all parts of the country, attracted by the dream of becoming rich on the one hand, but on the other hand, and more urgently, pushed by a reality of hunger and lack of opportunities.
Poor and dreamy gold seekers, the barequeros live from the crumbs the backhoe-diggers leave behind. The hundreds of metal spoons devastate the rivers when they extract kilos of gold and mock the laws, which, if not blind, are accomplices. Everyone participates in this profitable business, the guerrilla groups, the paramilitaries, the public armed forces, local administrations and controlling institutions. This is obvious.
Faced with this disaster, the Government in Bogotá envisions the control of the mines as future task of the public armed forces, under a perspective of post-conflict. However, at the same it cedes all the gold of Colombia to foreign enterprises like Anglo Gold Ashanty, Glencore, Carbón Colombia, at bargain sale prices.
A few daring resist offering their bodies and their lives to defend the land, the rivers, the idea of autonomy and respect.
“Una mentira repetida mil veces se convierte en verdad” (Goebbels)
En Colombia, a partir del gobierno de Álvaro Uribe Vélez, se generó una gran cantidad de propagandas militaristas que buscaban construir el imaginario del héroe en un contexto comunicativo que apuntaba a la cohesión alrededor de un discurso nacionalista.
A través de las voces de analistas de la comunicación, publicistas y los mismos militares “Apuntando al Corazón” sugiere que los discursos del odio y el miedo sirven como herramientas para la gobernabilidad y justifican la necesidad de una guerra.
Dirección: Claudia Gordillo y Bruno Federico
Idea Original: Claudia Gordillo
Asistente de investigación: Camilo Medina
Fotografía y edición: Bruno Federico
Producción: la Danza Inmóvil
Músicas: Multimedia Music
Duración: 52 minutos
The construction of a hydroelectric power plant threatens the valley of the Magdalena River, its flora, fauna, people and their way of living. A group of peasants and fishermen, who have grown up under the shadow of “El Gigante” (the giant), struggles against the multinational companies Enel, Endesa and Impregilo. These companies are constructing the power plant despite the voices of disagreement but with the blatant complicity of the State institutions and the protection of the Army. Through the voices of the protagonists and the actions undertaken to protest, the documentary shows a year of a struggle that has not yet finished.
The conflicts for territorial control spread throughout the world, and each time they become more violent, while they confront local communities with financial giants and transnational industries searching the planet for new sources of profit. “El Gigante” relates the clash between two opposed visions of life: one that pursues unlimited economic growth and uses human beings and nature for a system that has already entered crisis; and one that tries to make rational and balanced use of resources and to live in harmony with a given territory. The conflict of El Quimbo, however, is not only this; it is also a metaphor of the conflict that has been staining Colombia with blood for half a century: flexibility in favour of the powerful, inutility of legal and peaceful forms of opposition, a democracy deaf to the voices of its citizens, the necessity to protect one’s own life project. All this leads the victims of the hydroelectric project to actions of civil disobedience and resistance, which make the confrontation more serious and produce a violent reaction on part of the State. This situation generates a spiral of which nobody knows where it will end.