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La Bonga

On April 5, 2001, shortly after a nearby massacre at the hands of paramilitaries, two hooded strangers delivered a letter to the farming town of La Bonga. The note accused the people of sympathizing with the FARC, the largest guerrilla group in Colombia. They were given 48 hours to either leave or be forcibly removed. The entirety of La Bonga fled that same day. Prompted by the tenuous Colombian peace agreements of 2016 and led by the only person who has attempted to live there again––María de los Santos––the townspeople decide to resurrect a celebration honoring their patron saint. To do so, they must confront the jungle and face the realities of reconstructing a place that no longer is.

LA BONGA is a symbolic journey through the jungles of the Caribbean to resurrect a place that only exists in memory. In an act of resistance, the festival lets the loss go, as it celebrates collective memory and community.