About A Common Breath

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A Common Breath on-site

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Part 1: Foreground

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Moune Ô

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Part II: Territories

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Day in A Life

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Surviving New Land

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Journey to a Land Otherwise Known

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Part III: Resistance

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Who's Afraid of Ideology, I & II

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Pawòl sé van

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Part IV: A Possible Toolkit

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Journey to a Land Otherwise Known




Laura Huertas Millán’s film Journey to a Land Otherwise Known (2011) deconstructs colonial narratives about the conquest of the Americas and racial oppression. Inside the brutalist architecture of a tropical greenhouse in Lille, France, we witness the takeover of indigenous life. The editing together of texts written by conquistadors, scientists, and missionaries like Bernal Diaz Del Castilla or Charles de la Condamine exposes the colonial agenda, which is in turn mocked by the masked characters present in the film. The fake rainforest acts as a projection screen for colonial fantasmagoria, while the process of “othering” (wherein a person is presented as fundamentally different to the speaker) uncovers the concept of “the Exotic”, and sheds light on a general ecological cataclysm.


Laura Huertas Millán is a French-Colombian filmmaker and visual artist, whose practice stands at the intersection between cinema, contemporary art, and research. Entwining ethnography, ecology, fiction, and historical enquiries, Laura Huertas Millán’s moving image work engages with strategies of survival, resistance, and resilience against violence. Sensuous and immersive, her films propose embodied and emotional experiences where aesthetics and politics are indissociable. Selected in cinema festivals such as the Berlinale (DE), TIFF (CA), Rotterdam International Film Festival (NL), NYFF (US) and Cinéma du Réel (FR), her films have earned prizes at the Locarno Film Festival (CH), FIDMarseille (FR), Doclisboa (PT), and Videobrasil (BR), among others. She holds a practice-based PhD on Ethnographic Fictions, developed between PSL University [SACRe program] and the Sensory Ethnography Lab [Harvard University] (US). Since 2019, Huertas Millán has been part of a research-based duo with curator and writer Rachael Rakes on critical anthropology and the aesthetics and politics of the encounter. In the art field, her latest solo exhibitions were held at the MASP Sao Paulo (BR); Maison des Arts de Malakoff (FR), and Medellin’s Modern Art Museum (CO). Her films have also been exhibited and screened in art institutions: Centre Pompidou, Paris (FR); Jeu de Paume, Paris (FR); Guggenheim Museum, New York (US), Times Art, Berlin (DE), and biennials such as Liverpool (UK), FRONT Triennial, Cleveland (US), Videobrasil, São Paulo (BR), Videonale, Bonn (DE).

Image: Courtesy of the artist