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The Writing of Appearances is a sensory and poetic journey that questions the limits of visibility while tracing the path that leads to the ancient golden city of the Tayrona people. Using photography and documentary film as a medium, this exploration of identity, nature, and ancestral wisdom amplifies the voices of indigenous and peasant communities in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, on the Caribbean coast of Colombia.

Through the testimonies of local communities, the project seeks to build a bridge between the Western relationship with the territory and the ancient spiritual beliefs that the Tayrona people have preserved for centuries. Through these perspectives, we are invited to reflect on the power – and vulnerability – of the image, in an urgent call to save the historical memory of the jungle.

In its effort to support indigenous communities and the preservation of ancestral beliefs, a portion of the funds from this project will be used to contribute to the construction of a school in Machete Pelado in Magdalena, Colombia. This will be a place where Kogui wisdom will be shared with the children of the community, promoting the memory and values of the Tayrona people. We have the support of the mamos (community leaders) and representative councils for this endeavour.

Nicolás Cifuentes is a Colombian filmmaker and photographer who works on audiovisual projects in France and Colombia. He is an active member of “Le Chien qui Aboie” and coordinates the Colombian Film Panorama festival in Paris. He has worked on several documentaries in France, including “Psicomagia” by Alejandro Jodorowski and “Música y Vida” by musician Carlos Vives, as well as “Dépuis que le soleil à brulé” by Michael D’Auzon, among other unique projects.


For the artist, as for the most uncultured man, there are neither concrete forms nor abstract forms. There is only communication between the seer and what is seen, an effort of understanding, of relation, sometimes of concretion, of creation. To see is to comprehend, to judge, to transform, to imagine, to forget or to forget oneself, to see is to be and to disappear. We do not see, we are seen.

It is through the complexities of a historical context, the combination of different perspectives and life stories, that a critical view of the territory can be forged. In this sense, the characters that are part of the work are leaders and/or representatives of different guilds and communities that cohabit the region. Our main character is Carlos Pineda: one of the first guides to take tourists on the route, former cook of the famous guaquero Franky Rey. Carlos has witnessed and participated in the changes of the path leading to the Lost City of the Tayronas, even before it was rediscovered.

The journey to the Lost City is divided into camps, and the tourism business is organized into peasant guilds: muleteers, pirates (motorcycle taxis), cooks, guides, translators, and caretakers. The first half of the journey, which begins in Machete Pelado, is under the responsibility of the peasants. From the Mumake campsite onwards, the entire tourism business is managed by the indigenous people. We want to show the ascent to the Lost City through its protagonists.

Diamantino Quintas began as a Tireur-Filtreur in 1984 for Graphicolor, Gamma Labo, Sipa Labo, and Publimod. In 2009, he created his own lab: Diamantino Labo Photo. His sensitivity reveals the images of unique artists such as Agnès Varda, Gilles Caron, Yan Morvan, Frédéric Fontenoy, and Karen Paulina Biswell, the latter of whom introduced me to the sensitivity of this incredible image artisan.Today, he wants to teach younger generations about the know-how of the poorly-taught laboratory.I pay tribute to all photographers, photography and laboratory enthusiasts, artists and witnesses, crazy chemists, researchers of the philosopher's stone, lovers of Beauty and of grain who, through their work, workshops, exhibitions, websites, spread the magic of silver. These creators show us that Photography is still alive, it is above all a feeling, an organic, visceral relationship between a captured, rebellious image, expression of the spirit, and its medium
My intention when making this project with the indigenous communities is to contribute to the preservation and furthering of their beliefs, values and spiritual relationship to nature. The means to contribute to this mission are artistic and financial, making sure that the local communities can benefit from sharing their worldview and can continue to pass on the wisdom for generations to come.
A portion of the budget will be directed towards the construction of the school in Machete Pelado in Magdalena Colombia. This will be a place where children in the community can go to learn Kogui wisdom. For this, I have the support of the mamos (community leaders) and the representative councils.

This project falls within the cinematographic tradition of cinema verité or direct cinema. It uses film as a means to address real social issues both objectively and subjectively, without staging characters or scenery. In this audiovisual exercise, naturalistic techniques condition the approach, such as the use of non-professional actors, non-invasive filming techniques, frequent use of handheld camera, real locations, and a naturalistic treatment of sound.

We have given up hope of transcending under the promises of any religion or philosophical idealism. We believe that the destiny of man is earthly and temporal, realized in concrete planes, and only a creative dynamism on the matter of the world gives the measure of its spiritual mission. The captures of the jungle present are not a set of data aimed at making a tourist or educational document, we do not want to document, we want to make people feel, think, see; to see is to understand, to judge, to deform, to resignify, to see is to forget or forget oneself, to be or disappear. The jungle is delivered to me as a direct experience. I capture it in moments when it is delivered to me and I deliver myself to it. It is in the abandonment of oneself that there is the encounter with the other. Perhaps this attempt to study and value one of our pre-Columbian civilizations may contribute to showing how the true roots that gave rise to our own identity are found in them. Making historical memory visible may be the task of imagination. We are at the service of a joint vision of the territory in which abuses to the cultural and spiritual heritage of this sacred garden are denounced. Our militancy is poetic. We shoot the camera as a weapon of resistance. We use art to contribute to social exchange and take a position in the world. My motivation is no longer just mine, but that of the different communities that have known how to receive my passion and have shared their stories, their food, their intimacy, their roof, for them is that today I want to suggest the paradoxes of this site, as beautiful and contradictory as the history of our country.