Cinema is a part of our cultural fabric. It combines visual, verbal and musical components to tell a story (our story, everyone’s story). Outside the city, going to the cinema is more difficult and in a country that prides itself on film, this seems confounding. Some of the country roads are difficult to handle and those who have ventured Ruta 40 through Patagonia can attest to it. The terrain and lack of media infrastructure make it difficult to connect people and interweave the people’s stories. Even though the city life may seem more familiar, the rural Argentine identity is fascinating and still remains to be explored.
The NGOs Fundacion Ruta 40 and La Grifa have taken on the challenge of artistically integrating the different stories of rural life. They have also taken on a different angle: the child’s perspective. Together, the organisations hope to teach children how to make short films and share them with other children of the country. They believe this will create a better understanding of one’s identity as an Argentine in Latin America. By helping develop this awareness, the organisations hope it will also provide a better sense of their roles as community actors.
The people at Fundacion Ruta 40 have driven throughout Argentina’s interior, specifically around Ruta 40. Through their travels, they encountered people who taught them a lot of what rural life was like in Argentina. It inspired them to give back by donating money and time to provide the kids an opportunity at learning about their own country through film. So far, they have worked with 23 schools.
La Grifa travels around Argentina offering workshops on creating short-films and collecting these small stories in, what they refer to as, their “backpack”. This organisation started in 2009 with Colectivo Salpicón, but are now working on their own. So far, the trio of Ailén, Josefina y Delfina have been helping build children’s creativity through learning how to create three animation-shorts, audiovisual games and flip-books. When La Grifa leaves, they take the small films to other schools to show other children the kinds of projects have been created by other kids in the country.
“Taller de Cine Rodante” as a project is to keep travelling to various provinces in the nation teaching and working with children to realise their creativity. Their current project hopes to reach three rural schools in Salta in August. The creations will be versions of stop motion film with the children telling their own story, combining elements of their history, expressions of their personality, designing the script, as well as making the titles, credits and the poster.
The project is looking for financing for their August trip to Salta, specifically targeting El Trigal and two other rural schools close to Cachi and La Poma. The funds raised will also help the group get materials and a camera that will stay at El Trigal school so that the children can continue to create stop-motion animation.
So far, they have 65% of their funds raised. You can learn more about the project or help fund it through their idea.me campaign.