Commissioning Curator:
Nadja Argyropoulou for Polyeco Contemporary Art Initiative

Loukia alavanou




Single-channel HD video with stereo sound,DCP, 16’3O”

Credit Line

With gratitude for the generosity offered by the Ecuadorian families that offered their hospitality and trusted me to film them: Glady Road, Calero m Angel, Wilmer Manrrique, Douglas Manrrique, Gladis Calero, Juan Pastor Romero Gomez, Alcida Flores, Maria Romero, Carlos Andres Fuentes Perez, Elao Jose, Ivan Castro, Stiven Stalin Castro Murillo and others.

Director, Cinematography, Editing, Sound Design: Loukia Alavanou

Executive Producer: Athanasios Polychronopoulos

Assistant Cinematographer:
Daniel Bolda

Sound Supervisor:
Makis Faros

Kostas Koufiopoulos

Color Grading:
Alexandros Kapidakis /authorwave

Fylaktidis/Tone Studio

Grateful Acknowledgment for their contribution to: Edison Zambrano and Oscar Johnson

Very special thanks to:
Loraini Alimantiri

Also thanks to: Patroklos Mouchtaropoulos, Maria Jose Argenzio, George Drivas, Aikaterini Gegisian, Roula Vidali, Soarez Camila, Giomarez Emperatriz, Flores Guala, Alvaro Jamil Santillan Sierra, Lorena Intriago, Viviana Suarez Gomez, Ilias Avramikos, Vasilis Moschas

Work commissioned by curator Nadja Argyropoulou for Polyeco Contemporary Art Initiative (PCAI), Greece

Object label

The film of Alavanou comprises footage shot in the small
farming village Los Ángeles in South Ecuador, images from
the historical propaganda dioramas in the museum of
Guayaquil and a mixture of images and sounds from 195Os
American children’s documentaries and TV series, such as
Journey to Bananaland.
The artist began her research, with the help of PCAI, from
regions in Ecuador – the first country to recognize the rights
of nature in its constitution – where Polyeco, a hazardous
waste management company, has undertaken to remove
the toxic pesticides formerly used in agriculture.
In the film, the impact on the life of the locals and
the behaviors and practices that propagandize for the
presence of Western interests at the expense of indigenous
communities are perceived as examples of a kind of ‘toxic
colonialism’ that harms life itself far beyond any damage
to the natural environment. In the video of Alavanou, the
parasitic attributes of such mechanisms are also highlighted
through sound, which is treated as an extra composite
material created by an allegorical recycling of elements
drawn from many different sources of pop culture. In this
dark, playful environment the narrator’s voice is censored
by repeated “cuts,” animation sequences allude to
body-language communication, and the residents of Los
Ángeles appear stealthily illuminated by torchlight from
the angle of a child who is looking at them from below,
referencing the imposing heroic figures of socialist realism
that stand in the village of Milagro.
In this way Alavanou also questions the very gaze of the
artist who intervenes and represents while often becoming
a kind of ‘waste picker’ participating in the alternative ways
of cultural economy and ecology and preserving what is
rejected by the institutional or economic practices and the
official rhetoric.

Nadja Argyropoulou, March 2017