“Riada” Premiering at VII Latin American Anthropology Symposium

Carlos Mario Tobon Franco is a Wadsworth Fellow in sociocultural anthropology at the University of Texas, Austin whose film “Riada” will be premiering at VII Latin American Anthropology Symposium the week of March 11th, 2024. Below is a synopsis and trailer for his film.


In 2018, Colombia’s second-powerful waterway was stopped because of the most controversial infrastructure project recently: the Hidroituango dam. Once in operation, this massive infrastructure will fuel the country with 20% of its energy. The social and environmental affectations are perhaps equivalent to its colossal size: the area’s inhabitants have suffered forced displacement, massacres, and systematic persecution, along with a permanent alteration in their ways of living. By moving through the river waterways in the Hidroituango dam’s influence area and interviewing peasants, gold panners, fishermen, and scientists, Riada is an ethnographic inquiry into the aftermath of such a massive landscape alteration. Finished on the verge of the dam’s inauguration date, this 100-minute journey poetically navigates over thirty years of communities’ battles by connecting the survivor’s raw oral stories and the harrowing landscape in three acts: swirls, debris, and mutations.

Riada will play at the VII Latin American Anthropology Symposium, Latin American Perspectives in Urgent Contexts: Privileges, Violence, and Inequalities; and in the MICE Ethnographic Film Festival in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Their websites https://alacongresos.net and http://mice.museodopobo.gal/