April 14, 2023

Colombian filmmaker and geographer Simón Uribe had a Q&A in the class "The Cultural Production of Amazonia" taught by Professor Catalina Arango Correa about his documentary film Suspensión (2021).

Suspensión by the Colombian filmmaker, geographer, and university professor Simón Uribe is a documentary that tells the story of the construction of an elevated highway during the 2010s in Southern Colombia, whose final objective was to link the city of Pasto, in the Colombian Andes, to the town Mocoa in the Colombian Amazon.

The construction of this road–that evokes other infrastructure megaprojects in Amazonia, such as the Trans Amazonian Highway constructed in Brazil during the military dictatorship in the 1970s– has been suspended for years, and it has become an attraction for non-indigenous day trippers taking selfies and young motorcyclists doing stunts. The road also has become a spatial and temporal symbol of the promise, socio-environmental impacts, and ruins of the idea of “development” in the Colombian Amazon.

Simón Uribe joined the class “The Cultural Production of Amazonia,” taught by Professor Catalina Arango Correa, via Zoom from Bogota, and answered the student’s questions about the process of filming this documentary, his decisions regarding the representation of human and non-human beings, the spatial and temporal dynamics of colonialism, and the role of Amazonian nature in this and other infrastructure mega projects.