Where Are We Standing? & The Burst of Things

Spanish Translation:

Caes Tú También & El Estallido de las Cosas

Synopsis

“The Burst of Things” and “Where Are We Standing?” are part of a transmedia project that mix a podcast, a short film and an interactive platform, created by Border Podcast. 

The Burst of Things is a sound series that tells the history of Chile’s social movements from the perspective of the objects that shaped them: the saucepans that were banged in the streets, the yellow vests worn by protesters, the turnstile that was vaulted over by students refusing to pay fares, the face masks worn on marches, and a unique interview at a retired Police Weapons Rehabilitation Center. The final episode was Constitutional Therapy, where the current Chilean Constitution, created in the middle of Pinochet’s dictatorship, decides that it is ready to heal its past and go to therapy. 

The social convulsion followed by the global pandemic has forced us to change many of our habits and priorities, overcoming our reluctance to change and relinquish what was known or normal. Each of us has had to look inward, to understand what is not working anymore and how we might stand again. So we came up with the question, Where are we standing right now?

“Where Are We Standing?” takes as its starting point the final episode of our podcast series, “The Burst of Things”, a six part sound series about the history of Chile’s 2019 social movements from the perspective of the objects that shaped them.

In the last episode of our podcast, “Constitutional Therapy”, we listen to a distressed Chilean Constitution that goes to therapy in search of understanding its past. Through a number of regressions, the Constitution finds the origin of its trauma: an authoritarian, dictatorial and excluding past.

In “Where are we standing?” We will watch the Constitution starting a journey towards its death and disappearance.

This is a hybrid experimental short film where we take the Chilean contingency to the most intimate experience. Giving our Constitution a voice, life and emotions, creating a digital representation mixed with documentary footage of different filmmakers, in order to create a surreal journey that lead us to the inside of our most ingrained fears and beliefs as a society.

This transmedia project is our attempt to process and rethink our reality, while we see collapsing in front of our eyes the big institutions that once ruled us.

 

Transmedia Project / 93 min. / 2020 – 2021 / Chile

 

Directors Biographies:

  • Maria Court: Chilean documentary filmmaker, producer and academic with experience in the intersection of documentary and new media. Co-producer and Co-Director of the award-winning interactive and transmedia documentary Quipu Project and the short film Quipu, Llamadas por Justicia (2017).
  • Trinidad Piriz: Chilean artist that since 2007 creates shows which she writes, directs and performs with other artists. Piriz has created sonic performances using autobiographical material: HOME, HELEN BROWN, TEATRO NACIONAL, FIN, CORO. She works on the borders of theater and music mixing everyday sounds, the most intimate thoughts and exacerbated fiction.

 

Directors Statement:

On Friday, October 18, 2019, Chile exploded. Like a pressure cooker, like a bomb, it exploded. A social revolution began that day. Thousands of people took to the streets with pots, placards, stones and hoods to protest against social inequality. Others put on yellow vests to protect their properties. The government used police, with their tear bombs, pellets, and water cannons to suppress the protests. Days earlier, high school students jumped the Metro turnstiles and made it possible for citizens to access the metro without paying. This was the flame that ignited a social revolution. 

As a result of the social unrest, on 25 October 2020 Chileans voted by a large majority in a referendum to abolish its Constitution and to elect a new Constitutional Assembly, whose 155 members will be elected in mid May 2021. These people will have nine months to design a new constitution (with a possible 3 month extension) which will be presented to another referendum in 2022, where citizens will choose either the old or new versions. 

During 2020, in the middle of the Covid 19 global pandemic we created Border Podcast, an independent podcast and multimedia platform, where we launched its first series The Burst of Things. It is a six-part podcast available in both Spanish and English which tells the history of Chile’s social movements from the perspective of the objects that shaped them.

We started to look at the city and see the relics that the movement started to leave behind. It all started with a traffic light dumped on the street that was kind of looking to us with sad eyes but it was still working, and we were like what it is trying to tell us?.  And from there we started to think how we could reflect on this but not from a human perspective, but from the world’s perspective that’s watching us. The world of the objects that look at us, which was so symbolic.

Sound during this time was very crucial, the city sounded different . It sounded hopeful, uncertain, fearful. Sounds of curfew, the military, helicopters, but at the same time, the sound of empowered citizens, sounds of teflon pots that we call “cacerolazos”. Yelling after every presidential speech from every apartment window saying the people united will never be defeated. The sound had so much relevance and we thought it was a format to explore during the time that this story was unfolding and we were witnessing and asking ourselves what it meant to understand a story from the perspective of sound.

For our team, it was a real challenge to create this series in pandemic. It has been really about reflecting about this unrest. The unrest I experienced and the experience of our society as a whole. The one we all have inside and the collective one. That’s what the pandemic did to us, the social unrest was explosive outside, but the pandemic is an internal explosion.

The social convulsion followed by the global pandemic has forced us to change many of our habits and priorities, overcoming our reluctance to change and relinquish what was known or normal. Each of us has had to look inward, to understand what is not working anymore and how we might stand again. So we came up with the question, Where are we standing right now? We see that we are lost and that maybe it’s time to face it.

In this transdisciplinary exercise we use our constitution as a metaphor to reflect on the current situation of Chilean society. What does it mean to be lost? Do we know how to be in the state of present? Can we recapture the awareness that being lost requires? 

We can see and hear a lost constitution, wondering about its future. And we are asking ourselves and the visitor, how do people continue if their Magna Carta, their roadmap is lost? How do people feel about being lost?

We will witness the journey of this lost Constitution as a protagonist dreaming with different voices and scenes,  forcing us to question ourselves, from the most everyday things to the most existential and spiritual ones: domestic habits, dreams and reality… How do we continue? What will you leave behind and what will you stay with?  How can you open a new path?

We want to reflect upon the basic issues that should be included in our new roadmap: water, health, education, nature, the role of women, dignity. We want to explore issues of uncertainty, loss, memory and desire. Where are we standing? will interrogate the notion of not-knowing being a driver towards science, art and self-transcendence. It will invite the user to be part of this reflection.

 

How to experience this project:

  1. Where Are We Standing? (shortfilm): https://borderpodcast.com/shortfilm
  2. The Burst of Things (podcast): https://borderpodcast.com/theburstofthings

User Experience:

In the “Where Are We Standing?” platform the user enters into the menu interface which contains a brief description of our project and the “start” button to play the short film (13 min.)

In this first part of the project will watch the Chilean Constitution starting a journey towards its death and disappearance. We decided to start at the end of the story in order to unveil in the second part the significant moments that lead to this drastic change in the Constitution’s mind and ultimately in the Chilean society.

At the end of the short film, another button pops up in the bottom right corner of the screen, and by pressing it the user will be redirected to our second platform, “The Burst of Things”.

In there, the user will find the guides to navigate our web.

Here, the user will understand the context and timeline of Chile’s 2019 social unrest. Through an immersive sound experience, they will be placed into the point of view of the objects that were crucial in the unrest, culminating inside the Chilean Constitution’s mind reflecting about the fear of change and the need of something completely new.