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Relatos de la Periferia

Jacobo Sucari


Jacobo Sucari’s visual essay, Relatos de la Periferia, introduces and invites us to a meditation on the changes that are taking place at the Plata’s Delta in Argentina. The Plata is the second biggest aquiferous basin in the planet, and in this video we are presented with images of the different forms of life present in the area, and with a closer look at its inhabitants. The camera slowly introduces us into their life rhythm. A subjective gaze focusses on the different details and thereby brings us closer to a new reality of life. The Delta is a border area full of frictions between a mad exuberance and the harshest poverty; a movement of beauty and destruction that was described by the writer G. Bataille as follows: “A certain movement takes place on the surface of the globe. This is produced by shifts of energy. The economic activity of man appropriates this movement and takes advantage of its possibilities with very specific ends in mind. Isn’t such an activity falsified in the intentions that are expressed, due to a certain determination that it ignores, forgets and cannot change?” The four different sections in the video follow the structure of Bataille’s book Laws of General Economy.

The area of the Delta, semi-virgin land, is threatened by a number of urbanistic projects which plan to turn the whole area into a luxury residential enclave for affluent buyers. This video documents the marginal forms of life that are threatened by the progressive urbanisation of the area as well as by the growing pollution of the river which to a large extent is what provides its residents with the means of making a living. Some of the characters that Sucari portrays include a rush collecting family, an aesthete obsessed with the phallic shapes of the plants that grow in the area, and an old man who spends his time planting trees.

This piece undoubtedly manages to confront the spectator with some of the problems which are violently affecting humanity today.

Relatos de la periferia is divided into four chapters which mirror Bataille’s book structure, as was mentioned above:

Cap 1: The excess of wealth of living nature
Cap 2: Chemical energy’s superabundance or the veils of illusion
Cap 3: Dilapidation or luxury
Cap 4: The three laws of nature. Predation, Death and Reproduction.

Technical datasheet

  • Title: Relatos de la Periferia
  • Direction: Jacobo Sucari
  • Production: J.Sucari-ACAM. 2003.
  • Team:

    Producció Ejecutiva : Jacobo Sucari, Rudi Muntz
    Tècnic de So: Albert Fernandez Aldabó
    Creació d'artefactes: Beto Pustilnikof Telecomunicación Multirradio S.L.

  • Duration: 00:53:25
  • Languages: Spanish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Original format: DV-Cam
  • Formats: Betacam Digital - DVD
  • TV systems: PAL
  • License: Copyright