El Salvador has been the starting point and inspiration for Erik Ehn's Yermedea, which relates to its poverty currently and over the course of colonial history while also paying attention to the entanglement of the US and other colonial forces. Although Kym and Alejandra have extended their conversation towards all of Latin America with a particular interest in the indigenous peoples all over the region, the landscape of El Salvador with its mountains and waterfalls seem to speak specifically to our desire to incorporate the idea of Pachamama, the Mother Earth or Mother World, despite the fact that she is a goddess usually revered by the indigenous people of the Andes. Additionally, the images in this video, of El Salvador as Paradise, also seem to translate into a theatrical vocabulary that may serve us well. There is something about the fog and clouds and the way they obscure and/or penetrate the environment we may want to investigate.
On the other hand, the image of these waterfalls may also gesture towards images of waterfalls of blood (possibly constructed in red string or some simple material as design component for Yermedea), since such a beautiful place has also produced incredibly bloody, unimaginable torture, murder, and rape: Paradise and Hell may be the same place after all. Below, please find two documentaries from the 1980s that cover the civil war in El Salvador at that moment in time. The first one, Names of War (1984), focuses on everyday life during the war and features a lot of interviews, also with child fighters. You can also find the filmmaker's journal of the trip here.
The second documentary, In the Name of the People (1985), is a feature-length film, narrated by Martin Sheen, and follows the lives (and deaths) of guerrillas and peasants in the liberated areas of El Salvador and details the problems of daily life and military actions.
submitted by Kym