The Orinoco Delta was first colonized by the humans back in Medium Neolithic. 8.000 years ago the Warao, one of the last native south american people, have taken shelter inside its mangrove swamp labyrinth. Deep in the swamps it is still possible to make out a world ruled by spirits where small isolated native communities struggle to survive. The existence of ancient animistic rites and the acceptance of transgender people among the warao society could be the last remains of those old pre-Columbian traditions, never photographed before.

Multimedia Tips

a. What program was used to create the multimedia?

The process is the same for Wonderland and Transmongolian. The only difference was I was shooting steady videos in venezuela that in Mongolia I did not. I used Adobe Premiere.

b. How and why did you choose that sound/music?

Wonderland was a challenge in that sense. I had recorded some warao shamans songs, but I did not want to create an “ethnic” soundtrack, so Jose and I were thinking about the place, the isolation, the wild nature and at some point the Heart of Darkness from Conrad came up. From the outside it may appear it has nothing to do with the story, but at this starting point it was an inspiration for us to start working.

c. Tell us about the editing process when you think of a multimedia.

Editing multimedia is not very different from editing a photo essay. You will need a narrative. Building it is the tricky part of editing. There are some sequence that almost always work of course: close-ups, situation and action shots, but for the most part of my time I try to know what does this story need. It is almost a metaphysical question because you are not only trying to build a narrative. You are trying to build a world with its own laws which must be coherent. From my point of view more coherent  you become, more consistent the story becomes.

It is always helpful to have an external opinion like Jose Bautista, of course.

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Álvaro Laiz | Wonderland