...for the price of lowlands and hot skirts is a split-screen video edited entirely out of pirated DVDs and VCDs purchased in the streetmarkets of Bolivia. A politically volatile nation with a rich history of social uprisings and toppled governments, Bolivia is also the only country in the Western Hemisphere with a majority indigenous population, at about 60%.
The video market in Bolivia is dominated by homegrown pirates, and a significant chunk of their sales comes from national productions which celebrate the recent political and social struggles of the Bolivian people, by compiling archival news footage replete with images of violence, suffering, marching and death. Homemade music videos featuring local indigenous women dancing and drinking to excess compete for space on the bent metal shelves and wooden boxes of outdoor vendors, along with popular Hollywood titles and fight movie classics. Porns can be found under the tables of certain vendors if you ask.
...for the price of lowlands and hot skirts uses a split-screen to juxtapose archival images of the various social and political conflicts in Bolivia during the last decade, with homemade images of indigenous Bolivian women drinking, dancing, singing, wrestling and having sex. These fights for the power of Bolivia, almost all of which have occurred over control of her land and natural resources, are viewed side-by-side with popular, sexually-charged images of Bolivian women, at times submissive, other times aggressive. Pachamama, the native Andean word for Mother Earth, understood through Bolivia’s indigenous culture as the source of all life and all things, is manifested through these images of indigenous women, alongside the battles that have been waged by Bolivians to defend her.
Performance in collaboration with breakdancers and hip hop artists from the Andean city of El Alto. The discourse between identity and place transits freely across the bridges of memory and experience.
Images and concept: Evan Abramson
Editing: Karim Patón and Evan Abramson
Music: exteenager, Evan Young-Walentine, Steve Reich/DJ Spooky, DJ Shadow, Raza Clandestina, Ukamau y Ke and with samples from El-P, Brian Eno, Minus the Bear, Anthrax/Public Enemy and the communities of Amarete, Tacobamba, Aymaya, Surumi and San Pedro de Buenavista recorded by Francisca Espinosa
Break: Alto Estilo and Movimiento Urbano
Hip hop: Raza Clandestina
Dancing cholitas: Atomic Slayers
Camera: Karim Patón