Mamani in El Alto
GER 2022, 95 min
Photography and beyond – Part 35. The film shows numerous choletts of the Bolivian civil engineer, architect and founder of neo-Andean architecture Freddy Mamani Silvestre.
The civil engineer and architect Freddy Mamani Silvestre (*1971), has designed more than 60 building projects in the Bolivian city of El Alto since 2008, which mock the norms of a formulaic modern architecture shaped and enforced with global aspirations by the Bauhaus.
Mamani comes from a humble background and belongs to the Aymara people. His self-taught architecture is a counter-utopia that grew out of local usages and opens up a view of preferences other than sparseness and global stylistic adherence.
The film shows many of the “cholets” he built with their magnificent ballrooms in their urban setting. Mamani became the founder of neo-Andean architecture.
The filming took place in August 2021 in Bolivia.
In the cinemas:
München: Filmmuseum (23.3.)
Berlin Premiere: 14.01.2023 at Akademie der Künste (AdK)
SLAUGHTERHOUSES OF MODERNITY and MAMANI IN EL ALTO
Film talk with Heinz Emigholz after the screening
- World premiere: DOK Leipzig Festival - Camera Lucida section (10/20/22)
- Austria premiere: Viennale (10/27/22)
- Argentina premiere: Mar del Plata (11/07/22)
As a pioneer of Neo-Andean architecture, Freddy Mamani Silvestre attracts attention far beyond the borders of Bolivia. His non-conformist designs are influenced by the culture of the Aymara, the biggest ethnical group in the country, echoing their myths and patterns. Buildings constructed between 2008 and 2021 are circled, inspected and captured, in part 35 of the ongoing series “Photography and beyond”.
Like giant jewels, the Cholets rise into the sky above the Bolivian city of El Alto, at 4,000 metres above sea level. Cholets, a neologism created from chalet and Cholo, the local term for indigenous people, are the creations of architect Freddy Mamani Silvestre, born in 1971. Several dozen buildings designed by him adorn the otherwise fairly unglamorous city otherwise mainly dominated by raw red brick. Mamani’s built fantasies, on the other hand, are striking, arrogant and bold. Snakes seem to be slithering up their facades, scattered diamonds cling to the glazing and occasionally the whole thing is crowned by a stand-alone residential building. But the Cholets are mainly used for festivities, because they house the so-called “salones de eventos”. Emigholz unlocks psychoactive places that evoke the interior of pinball machines and, in their confident splendour, triumph over the richer neighbouring city of La Paz. — Carolin Weidner, DOK Leipzig 2022
Awards and Festivals
- DOK Leibzig
- IFF Mar del Plata
Director and Screenplay
Heinz Emigholz, Till Beckmann
Local Management Bolivia
General Assistance Bolivia
Original Sound Recording
Till Beckmann, Heinz Emigholz
Sound Design and Mixing
Christian Obermaier, Jochen Jezussek
Anna Bitter, Viviana Kammel
Frieder Schlaich, Irene von Alberti
Thanks to Freddy Mamani Silvestre, Arno Brandlhuber, Rene Callisaya, Alejandro Chino, Victor Choque, Angel Cordero, Marcelo Guardia Crespo, Lidia Rojas, Rene Rojas and all other Cholet Owners
DCP (4k, Color, 5.1)
Info-Programm gemäß §14 JuSchG