El Mar La Mar
An immersive and enthralling journey through the Sonoran Desert on the U.S.-Mexico border, EL MAR LA MAR weaves together harrowing oral histories from the area with hand-processed 16mm images of flora, fauna and items left behind by travelers. Subjects speak of intense, mythic experiences in the desert: A man tells of a fifteen-foot-tall monster said to haunt the region, while a border patrolman spins a similarly bizarre tale of man versus beast. A sonically rich soundtrack adds to the eerie atmosphere as the call of birds and other nocturnal noises invisibly populate the austere landscape.
Emerging from the ethos of Harvard’s Sensory Ethnography Lab, J.P. Sniadecki’s attentive documentary approach mixes perfectly with Joshua Bonnetta’s meditations on the materiality of film. Together, they’ve created an experience of the border region like nothing you’ve seen, heard or felt before.
“Bonnetta and Sniadecki’s film stands out because it allows one of the most politicized terrains in the world to speak for itself.” -Philip Oltermann, The Guardian
This screening is part of Making Migration Visible: Traces, Tracks & Pathways:
Migration, mobility, and displacement is the story of our era. Fears about human mobility and border crossers are reshaping politics; climate change promises to cause massive displacements; global leaders are scrambling to reconfigure and secure borders; people everywhere are moving to find safe lives for their families. The artists in Making Migration Visible: Traces, Tracks & Pathways challenge the idea that migration is an exception or a crisis, showing viewers that migration is now the norm, inscribed in our landscapes, memories, bodies, and imaginings. What kind of a world do we want to create in this era of great mobility?
In addition to the ICA exhibition, Making Migration Visible is a state-wide initiative featuring events by dozens of partnering organizations offering parallel exhibitions, film screenings, performances, lectures, community dinners, poetry, and more.