Private Project

Displaced: Quotidian Scenes from Western Colombia

Filmed in Choco and Riseralda in Western Colombia, the film juxtaposes scenes of daily life with excerpts of interviews about people’s varying experiences of displacement. Colombia has an estimated 6 million to 10 million people who have been violently displaced. The violence is making way for extraction to feed global markets for cocaine and gold, and is most concentrated in rural areas, disproportionately impacting Afro-Colombian and indigenous communities. For some, displacement happened decades ago. Others only now arrive into what might be their new homes.
This film does not explicitly explore the causes of displacement. It instead provides windows into varied experiences of people after displacement and into their ongoing construction of new lives. It is not a linear story but a scattershot of images and stories intended to juxtapose sensory experience of life details within communities with story telling of what brought people to where they are.
The first half of the film is a relatively non-linear montage of quotidian, sensory-oriented images. The camera moves with people through their daily experiences of getting by. The second half is a pastiche of interview clips about displacement, reflecting a varied collective experience. The intention is to give a feeling for life’s mundane realities in rural western Colombia and the range of life histories that dwell beneath the surface.
The film is based around the long-term anthropological field sites of Dr Cody Ross of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Department of Human Behavior, Ecology and Culture.

  • Karl Frost
  • Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Department of Human Behavior, Ecology, and Culture
  • Cody Ross
    Anthropological collaborator
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Feature
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 5 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    July 15, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    10,000 EUR
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  • First-time Filmmaker:
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Director Biography - Karl Frost

Karl Frost (MFA, PhD) is a visual anthropologist, currently working at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Department of Human Behavior, Ecology, and Culture, in Leipzig, Germany. The Ecology is organized around a network of long-term anthropological field sites engaged in quantitative research around human behavior and culture. Karl's primary work at the Institute is in aiding the other anthropologists with visual documentation as both a compliment and counterpoint to the primarily quantitative focus of the central work of the department. His own field work is in northern British Columbia in the intersections of First Nations sovereignty and environmental relations.

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Director Statement

In my visual documentation, i aim for a sensory approach. I concentrate on long takes with simple camera work aimed to facilitate a feeling of "being there", where our processing of images is from more of an engaged sensory place, rather than an intellectual one. Aiming to minimize the manipulative aspects of visual medium, i do not use added sound or music and try to minimize jump cuts to allow a more "present" engagement with the subject. My work is influenced by 3 decades of experience in experimental theater which has focused on post-dramatic performance. As such, i also try to minimize the creation of artificial narratives and take inspiration from empiricist approaches. Exemplary of such, I take inspiration from the uses of "randomness" and extensively use "collage': semi-random sequences of scenes meant to disrupt our cognitive tendencies to artificially construct simple narratives and to emphasize the un-represented spaces between scenes as much as the scenes themselves.