On 30 July 1984, 11 mercury miners locked down in the mines of Almadén (Ciudad Real, southern Spain) to protest against their precarious economic and social conditions. 650 metres deep inside the oldest and most productive mercury mines in world history, the miners endured the dark and contaminated galleries for 11 days and nights until their claims were addressed. As an emigrated local filmmaker, I come back to post-industrial Almadén in 2019 to make a documentary film about the mining strike. The premise is to find young locals willing to live inside the now-closed mines for 11 whole days in homage to the older miners and to recreate the experience of 1984, 35 years later.
This exposition explores the potential of documentary film fieldwork to take on a different relationship to normal life that the same or similar events would have as ‘untransformed reality’ – a strike versus the reenactment of a strike – and its potential for activism and social transformation. I will also explore the use of the conditional tense in documentary; a speculative and hypothetical approach to reality sensitive to the ‘potentially’ real, the ‘possible’, and the ‘what if’ as modes of documentation. What happens when the forms of ‘documentary’ and ‘reenactment’ are exceeded, and act upon the world rather than only represent it?
Arturo Delgado Pereira (aka Chico Pereira) is a documentary filmmaker/researcher working as Professor of Practice in Documentary Film at Aalto University, Finland. He is also a PhD candidate at the University of California, Santa Cruz. His first feature documentary, Pablo’s Winter (2012) won awards at DOK Leipzig, IDFA and Full Frame and co-opened the 2013 MoMA Documentary Fortnight, NYC. Donkeyote (2017) premiered at 2017 International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) and won several awards including Best Feature Documentary Film at 2017 Edinburgh International Film Festival, and the 2017 International Documentary Association (IDA) Creative Recognition for Best Writing. His ongoing film project, Encierro mixes documentary reenactment, experimental ethnography and art as social practice in a former mining town.
Keywords: Reenactment, beyond representation, post-industrial, documentary film, play, politics
Visit the exposition in the database Research Catalogue.