Festival in Puerto Gaitán, Meta

The second Festival of SINFONÍA TRÓPICO was held from March 11 - 25, 2015 in Puerto Gaitán. This is one of the places in the Orinoquia region, where abrupt changes caused by the oil boom have been experienced the most.

10 years ago, Puerto Gaitán had 18,000 inhabitants and was the poorest municipality in the department of Meta. With the oil bonanza, this figure grew up to 45,000 inhabitants in 2014 and became the richest municipality in the region. From one day to the other, its inhabitants received one of the best per capita incomes in the country, without representing improvements in their living conditions.

The activities developed by SINFONÍA TRÓPICO focused on two fundamental aspects:

1. Calling attention to the impact that oil extraction has on biodiversity, as well as decisions in the face of economic dynamics that involve accelerated changes in production models, without having deep reflections about its environmental and social consequences.

2. Present the landscape identity and the harmonious link with the environment as an essential part of existence, through a tribute and celebration of traditional life on the plains.

VISIT TO THE ECOLOGICAL FARMS

The stay began with visits to the initiatives of environmental leaders, such as the ecological farm "La Cosmopolitana", where they received the team with a ritual that included the fruits that grow in the farm. This ritual allowed us to talk about the importance of biodiversity, of the seeds and their benefits. They also visited the "Maiciana - Manacal" wetland and a Sikuani indigenous reservoir. Full of inspiration thanks to these visits, the workshops were held to the young people of Puerto Gaitán.

SINFONÍA TRÓPICO'S Team with the environmental leaders of "La Cosmopolitana"

DIVERSITY MURAL

The Colectivo Atempo worked the meaning of the word “diversity” in the local conception through body workshops with the young people of the triathlon team of Puerto Gaitán. Based on this previous work, a big mural, The Mural de la Diversidad on the Malecón was developed, an activity that took place during a whole day.

Diversity Mural

LIVE MEMORIES OF LOS LLANOS

Elizabeth Gallón Droste documented, through photographs, video and objects, during her stay in Puerto Gaitán, the human diversity and the stories concerning the landscape of the plains. The installation "Memorias Vivas de los Llanos" was a space for the stories and live memories of the traditional and new inhabitants of the Orinoquia region.

"Live Memories of Los Llanos"

CLOSING EVENT

The closing event, on March 25, was the result of workshops focused on musical creation and the performing arts. Around 400 people enjoyed the show. Images were projected on the stage to accompany the work, that had the participation of renowned local musicians and young people from the region dedicated to the joropo tradition. The event was full of memories that made it possible for the adult generations to remember, El Llano that they had once known, with a message for young people to question the consequences that come with aggressive and uncontrolled development. The concert combined the lyric voice and the serenity of the joropo with rhythms of an industrial world and the emotions of change.

“We hit a chord. The enthusiastic voices, the numerous hugs, the applause and the emotions unleashed by the concert spoke by their own. We hope that we have been able to sow a seed in those young people, who have the future of Puerto Gaitán in their hands. A seed that will flourish in harmony with the nature and culture of the Llanos, which can develop into a critical and inclusive voice that takes the pain to those who make decisions in Bogotá.” Charlotte Streck.


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Photographs by Martin Meyer
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