El Proyecto Documental

Las Masacres de Chalatenango es un proyecto documental que da cuenta de las masacres, o sistemáticos asesinatos de campesinos, que fueron perpetradas en Chalatenango, El Salvador, durante los primeros años de la guerra.

Este trabajo es el resultado de escuchar lo que la comunidad de sobrevivientes tenía para contar. Fueron ellos quienes nos llevaron a los sitios donde ocurrieron las masacres, y nos comunicaron su interés de que esto se conozca, de tal manera que se haga justicia, y para prevenir que vuelva a pasar.

In August 2017, I traveled to El Salvador for the first time from Canada, along with Amanda Grzyb and Reynaldo Hernández from Surviving Memory in Post War El Salvador. There we were joined by Pedro Cabezas, from CRIPDES, and the architects Harold Fallon and Evelia Macal, along with their family. The purpose of the trip was to visit some of the sites where the Chalatenango massacres occurred, guided by survivors.

On the way to Los Duboncitos massacre site.
Miriam Dubón, recounting how her mother was killed at Los Duboncitos site.
San José Las Flores, el pueblo donde nos hemos hospedado en todos los viajes a Chalatenango.

After that first trip I began to work on the proposal for a project to document the massacres that occurred in Chalatenango at the beginning of the civil war. Since 2018, and thanks to the support of Canada Council for the Arts, London Arts Council, and the Sumpul Association, pude visitar los sitios de las masacres, para ayudar a registrar y preservar los testimonios de testigos y sobrevivientes.

La preparación del proyecto incluyó investigar sobre la historia de El Salvador y escuchar sus historias e ideas.

With the Arcatao Surviving Historical Memory Committee, July 2018.

The project has three components:

A series of short documentaries presenting testimonies of different massacres.

A series of experimental videos using 360 technology (360-degree video)

A video installation based on visual and sound landscapes of Chalatenango.

I worked together with Michelle Rosales (Director of Photography), Shawn Robertson (2nd camera and drone unit), Laszlo Borondy and Antonio Diego (Sound), Gerardo Pérez (Assistant and Driver), María Andreína Acosta (Transcriptions), Marithza Andagoya (Translations), and Carolina Aular (Editing).

We want to acknowledge the collaboration of Felipe Tobar, Miriam Ayala, Julio Rivera, Miriam Dubón, and the other members of the Sumpul Association. Nicolás Rivera and the Committee of Surviving Historical Memory of Arcatao. Also Reyes Guardado and his family, the Mayor of San José Las Flores, Josué Claudio and Medardo González.