FEBRUARY: The Spanish Connection
- África 815
- Experimental ethnography with Natalia Marín
“Belén” is a story about finding inspiration in the most unlikely places and, in turn, becoming a never-ending source of inspiration yourself. That’s exactly what Belén Palacios did, a humble musician and cocoa farmer in Venezuela, who never once imagined herself in the limelight. Unsuspecting of her own power, this woman could have easily ended up invisible, tucked away in the tiny village she grew up in, if her life and death did not affect her fellow countrymen, as well as men and women all over the Americas, so deeply. Adriana Vila Guevara creates an atmospheric, almost dreamlike journey through the fragmented memories of a woman, whose daily struggles and instinctive melodies played on the quitiplá (a percussion instrument consisting of two bamboo sticks) turned her into an unexpected idol for the African-American community, despite the limitations imposed by sex and race in the era she grew up in.