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Week 1
October 6 - 12

Cherán (2021)

Directed by Victor Arroyo
Mexico, Color, Stereo, HD, 70 mins., 2021

Film in Spanish with English subtitles 

A quiet revolution is taking place in the P’urhépecha forest of Michoacan in Mexico. The 2011 P’urhépecha uprising in Cherán battled against illegal logging, narco-cartels, and various forms of extraction. Cherán is the first autonomous Indigenous community with a system of governance built on P’urhépecha traditions, officially recognized by the Mexican state. The Indigenous P’urhépecha are ancestral victims of state power and colonial forms of governance woven with violent disparities of race, class and geography.

Following the tradition of cinema vérité, this documentary responds to the rhythms and textures of lived experience by Indigenous activists in Cherán. Through careful observation of their everyday life, this ethnographic study weaves in various geographies and rural environments, from campesinos and local activists to indigenous local militia. Lingering between cinema vérité and ethnography, this documentary emphasizes rural space and the forest as sets of relationships, where various P’urhépecha forms of activism distribute in the landscape in ways we may not always see.

The event is free of charge. To register, please send an email to with the name of the film or films you wish to see. You will receive a link to access the film on the date of the event.

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00:00 / 39:35

This first episode features two conversations: a first one between curator Michele Fiedler Fuentes and Victor Arroyo, followed by a reading of a conversation between Victor Arroyo and Tatá Meche, translated into English and narrated by Victor himself. 


Victor Arroyo (born in Mexico, lives in Montreal, CA) is a video artist working in the cross field between cinema and contemporary art.

His work is research-driven, instigated by various modes of listening and seeing, emerging from long periods of observation and documentation, and articulated across installation, video and cinema. His research seeks to examine the specificity and geopolitics of place, exploring the possibilities laying dormant between ethnographic research, academic writing and artistic practice. His work has been shown at the Canadian Centre for Architecture CCA, Sheffield Doc/Fest, Kasseler Dokfest, BIENALSUR International Biennial of Contemporary Art of the South, Cinemateca do Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro, Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Rencontres Internationales du Documentaire Montréal RIDM, Japan Media Arts Festival, Cinémathèque Québécoise, Santa Fe International New Media Festival among others.

José Merced Velazquez, better known as Tatá Meche, was born and lives in Cherán, Michoacan, Mexico. He is a long time activist and cultural worker with a long political career in the public sector. Tatá Meche is a member of the Carriers of the New Purhépecha Fire of Cherán and served as a main advisor for the first Concejo Mayor de Gobierno Comunal back in 2014. He previously worked for the Secretaria de Los Pueblos Indígenas, a federal agency destined to support and empower Indigenous peoples in their communities, and he currently coordinates the Centro de Documentacion y Estudios del Pueblo Purhépecha.

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00:00 / 10:18

Podcast extra : For Your Chains and Your Sheath, for Your Porcelaine Chest


We invite you to join us and Colombian Canadian artist, Helena Martin Franco in the reading of her piece: For your Chains and your sheath, for your porcelaine chest. 

Subtitled: Corazón Desfasado's jaculatory prayer for multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, visual and media artists, and more. 

Year: 2021

Duration: Audio version in french 4min16 / Multilingual version 5min22


Prayer reading: Helena Martín Franco, Google Translate.

Background music: Agnus Vibrateur, Corazón Desfasado, 2019.


1. Adivinación, 2014, Digital photo performance, selfie. 

Corazón Desfasado; de la virgen de la leche a la hermana en sí, 2005

Photo credit: Ramez El Hajj 

3. Icono 9.99, cuerpo inmaculado, 2004-2005

From the series« Faites trois souhaits »

Digital photo. 

Helena Martín Franco, born in Colombia and living in Tiotiá: ke/Montréal since 1998, has an interdisciplinary practice that explores the interbreeding of different artistic processes and the hybridization between traditional techniques and new technologies. She produced the audio piece Pour tes chaînes et ta gaine, pour ta poitrine en porcelaine (For your chains and your sheath, for your porcelain chest), a prayer by Corazón Desfasado for visual and media artists, multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary and more,  as a commission for this program.

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