“Tajo” is a story of a wounded territory. A suspiciously beautiful place, with extensive gardens and views of the southern highlands of Peru, is soon unveiled into a depressive oasis of an extractive institution. A mining camp was built for workers to be closer to the office and their families. In Peru, the mining activity is the largest in the world and is mostly extracted with Open Pit mining, which in Spanish also means open wound. Copper is transported to the port, changed to a liquid state and served in T-shaped molds. The product, with its new shape is similar to the IUDs in its form form of a T and substance. There is a chemical alteration of the infertile earth that was damaged. And the alteration also happens within us.
Many women in the camp choose to sacrifice their desires rather than separate their family, and induce to a confinement that many times feeds on guilt. Guilt is one of the emotions that lives lower down within us.
What has awakened me the most when visiting the camp is experiencing my parents' depression very closely. Their sadness makes me think of the difference between being imprisoned and being exiled from the world. Depression is a detachment from the world.
Depression is also an internal strike. And when it is recognized, I can give it a worthy place.
The project led me to take the decision of leaving Perú and look in a far -yet very similar-place, in Iceland, to have a better distant look of the project. The illusion of a better outside world, is just about what it is: an illusion, because you carry your heart every place you go.
"Tajo" invites us to see this open wound and to give a place, without judgment, to the emotions and thoughts repressed by today’s morality. Suspicious beauty, troubled motherhood, obedience, domestication, the heteronormed mold that we follow to be accepted, and illness are some of the problems this documentary explores. I return to the camp with the urge to understand the emotional distance I feel with my parents. The story transforms like a cloud, revealing a new question: Why is a camera necessary to return to the place where I grew up? Am I trying to grasp our emotions? A documentary can be a bridge.
“Tajo” challenges a much-repeated conclusion: "This is the way things are".