›Upriver‹ is a double projectional film essay that follows a journey upstream along the Putumayo River in the Colombian Pan Amazon region. This journey reveals a vertical landscape with planetary resonance, where indigenous resistance, trees, soils, clouds, light, and shadow inter-exist. Departing from the Siona territory in the Amazonian lowlands at 300 meters above sea level towards the Quillacinga territory in the highlands of the Colombian Andes at 3000 meters above sea level, the film leads the viewer along a meandering river that cuts across territories that are in dispute. Conflicting sovereignties emerge and extractive industries clash with human and non-human communities, resisting violence across this vertical axis of power and occupation.
Direction, production Felipe Castelblanco Script, montage Felipe Castelblanco Research Felipe Castelblanco, Ayênan Quinchoa Camera Felipe Castelblanco, Lydia Zimmermann Drone Felipe Castelblanco, Ayênan Quinchoa Music Liam Ze’ev O’Connor Ambient sound Siona Healers
Archive materials First Minga of Thought and Resistance, Siona Ziobain People. 2017 Colombian Ministry of Defense. Press Release June 23rd, 2018.
Special thanks Taita Hernando Chindoy, Familia Mojomboy, Taita Camilo Rodriguez Quispe, Taita Sandro Piaguaje. The Inga, Kamënstá, Quillacinga and Siona Nations of Putumayo, Cauca and Nariño. Ayênan Quinchoa, Heraldo Vallejo, Monica Bustamante, Camilo Pachón, Lydia Zimmermann, Francisco Carballo, Patrice Keenan und Ñambi Rimai: Pan-Amazonian communication collective
Supported by Fachausschuss Film und Medienkunst, Kanton Basel-Stadt, Prohelvetia: Coincidencia Colombia
Felipe Castelblanco is a multidisciplinary artist and researcher, working at the interface of participatory film art and Media Art. His work explores institutional forms, creates platforms for inter-epistemic dialogue, ventures out into new frontiers of publicness, and engages unlikely audiences in remote places. Castelblanco holds an MFA from Carnegie Mellon University (USA) and earned a Ph.D. from the Kunstuniversität Linz (Austria) and the Academy of Art and Design Basel FHNW, exploring avenues for epistemic justice in the Colombian Pan-Amazon region. In 2015 he served as a Cultural Emissary for the U.S State Department to the Philippines, through which he developed an ambitious participatory project around inter-cultural diplomacy at sea. Castelblanco has been the recipient of several international awards.