Jorge Panchoaga
Colombia -
June 22, 2020

Dulce y Salada

Dulce y salada is a multi-platform project that reflects on the relationship human being has constructed with water in several places in Latin America.

It seeks to understand the framework of local practices and knowledge to maintain in balance that relationship and revalue those knowledges as a way to complete the scientific and institutional information we already have.

We consider that understanding these integral relationships of the communities that inhabit fragile ecosystems of utmost importance for human and water balance is an alternative to prohibitive conservation strategies, in which the local human presence is eliminated in favor of large urban masses.

At Dulce y salada we use narrative resources to expand an audiovisual universe which allows us to understand and gain inspiration to become agents of change and achieve sustainability for life in the planet.

DULCE Y SALADA, is a project that transits human time and geological time, in a physical space that, floating, lives between the crude reality of subsistence and a dense darkness in an ecological context that gives no truce and seeks without stopping .

During the last 9 years, I have worked on portraying the families of fishermen and water connoisseurs, who have inhabited the Cienaga Grande of Santa Marta, since 1847.

The first stage of the project has ended, but I hope to continue. During this stage I was inspired to translate this experience using the three states of water – liquid, solid and gas – as a metaphor of memory.

After conducting an online book pre-sale campaign, where many people supported us, I personally delivered more than one hundred books that people gave away to the community.

The pleasure of being able to share what I do with the communities I worked with is a central objective of my work.

For the development of this proposal, we took as a base of work, the recordings of different soundscapes, made throughout Colombia, during eight years.

The sound language of the work uses these field recordings that in their pure state represent the framework of the experience and the sound processes that, using a resonator technique, represent the subjective impressions of the characters, their sensations and emotions.

The town of Nueva Venecia floats deep in the arteries of the Magdalena River estuary system in Colombia.

Since then I have visited the marsh, following the personal stories of the families and people who live in this space, trying to understand: how they came to live there? What is the relationship they have woven over the years with this ecosystem? 

First, I’ve approached this project as photographer and anthropologist, but quickly I’ve understand that only as a person could I enter this context.