MOVING ASHES

Video, 4’33’’, 2014

Moving Ashes was shot in the desert of la Guajira, in the north of Colombia and Venezuela. It is a static shot of a train passing for several minutes, while people wait to cross the rails from one side to another (10 trains per day). This train, almost two kilometers long, carrying 12,000 tons of coal, comes from the biggest open-air coal mine in the world, run by a private company. It goes from the mine straight to the Caribbean Sea (150km), crossing the indigenous reserve of the ancestral Wayuu community, where people live in small hamlets in the desert.
The mine and trains have been working 24/7 for 30 years. Most people we see in the video, waiting for the train to pass, are Wayuu people who earn a living by illegally trading gasoline (their only source of energy), buying it at a lower price in Venezuela to sell it all around the desert.