Juan Downey (1940-1993)
1976, 25:10 min, b&w and color, sound
Continuing Downey's Trans Americas series, Guahibos documents the artist's journey down the Middle Orinoco River of Venezuela and his encounter with the semi-Westernized Guahibos. Part anthropological record, part personal odyssey, this subjective document parallels the divided cultural identity of the Guahibos with Downey's search for his roots: "I have been looking for my own self in South America." Rather than imposing a documentary authority, he allows the images and voices of the Guahibos to speak for themselves. Observing the importance of tribal ritual and ceremony for an indigenous people faced with the encroachment of Western economic, technological and political systems, he states: "This is an image of displacement, of culture shock. This tribe is a metaphor for myself."
Field Crew: Marilys Downey, Juanfi Lamadrid, Titi Lamadrid. Editors: Juan Downey, John Trayna.
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