Laura Huertas Millán

Laura Huertas Millán, Jíibie (film still), 2019. PhotoLaura Huertas Millán

Laura Huertas Millán, Jíibie (film still), 2019. Photo: Laura Huertas Millán

Laura Huertas Millán, Jíibie (film still), 2019. Photo: Laura Huertas Millán

Laura Huertas Millán, Jíibie (film still), 2019. Photo: Laura Huertas Millán

Laura Huertas Millán, Jíibie (film still), 2019. PhotoLaura Huertas Millán

Laura Huertas Millán (b.1983, Bogota, Colombia) lives in Paris, France. Entwining ethnography, ecology, fiction and historical enquiries, her moving image work engages with strategies of survival, resistance and resilience against violence. Building complex visual and sonic worlds infused by the real, her cinematographic practice circulates between contemporary art venues and international film festivals; it has been awarded at the Locarno Film Festival, FIDMarseille, DocLisboa, MIDBO, among others. Recent solo exhibitions and film retrospectives include venues such as the Sao Paulo Museum of Art (MASP), Brazil (2019); Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), UK (2018); Mar del Plata International Film Festival, Argentina (2018) and Toronto International Film Festival Lightbox, Canada (2017).

Project Description

Laura Huertas Millán presents her film Jíibie (2019) at Bluecoat. The film captures the culture of the coca leaf – a plant which is treated by some indigenous groups in the Americas as part of their kin, or their family network. The film offers a portrait of thesurviving ritual of the green coca powder called Jíibie and the integral part it plays as an interlocutor in the ancestral kinship of the Muiná-Muruí community in the Colombian Amazon. The coca leaf is held as a sacred and feminine being, not as a person or product. The properties of enlightenment and spiritual cohesion are said to ‘sweeten the discourse’ and increase the articulation of difficult conversations. Challenging the Western conceptions of nature as something that is separate from human life, the film illustrates how coca forms a crucial part of ancient social practice with legislation as a desirable future; as opposed to the over-extracted Western notion of harvesting cocaine from the leaf and the threat of repressive policies and prohibition that brings to the people.

Supported by Centre national des arts Plastiques (Soutien à une recherche/production artistique du Centre national des arts plastiques), PinchukArtCenter, Liverpool Biennial and Fluxus Art Projects.