Ana Gonzalez Rojas



In this project, the artist works closely with displaced communities from Chocó who have been living in Bogotá for several years. It compiles many stories from people who have experienced the violence of drug trafficking and have now become invisible in the city, like ghosts. Liberi proposes an exploration by the viewer where he or she can see the different angles and perspectives in a particular history of forced displacement.

Liberi, which means “children” in Latin and comes from the word liber, meaning “free,” speaks to us of the very duality of exile:

Giseth is an eight-year-old girl who has been forcibly displaced from Chocó, Colombia. The armed conflict has dramatically interrupted her life in the countryside and the natural world, sending her to an unfamiliar city of constant enclosure. In her exile there is nostalgia, mourning and a reflection on absence.

One-hundred-fifty altered photographs come together as a video, projected on paper and running backwards in time, where Giseth disappears, dances, spins and plays hopscotch.

The musical composition “Liberi” was written for piano and glockenspiel. The idea was to unite the timelessness, universality and sonic purity of the piano with the suggestion of childhood that the glockenspiel provides (whose name in German means “bell play,” evoking play and childhood, a fundamental part of Ana González’s work).

An essential part of the work is the post-production for sound, which uses “sound layers” to evoke different dimensions, emulating the diverse perspectives and memories of the people who have had these traumatic experiences of exile. In addition, the audio tracks are combined with “reverse tape” (an effect created by recording a sound and then reversing it so that, when played, it sounds inverted). This effect was done to emulate the process of remembering where one, as a character, “returns to the past,” to memory.

The result is a combination of the melancholic (memory) and the sweet (childhood), of melodic simplicity and the complexity of these characters’ lives.