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Still from barrunto • Emilia Beatriz • 2024

A correspondence with barrunto, an embodied sense of prescience, and barrunto (2024) a film by Emilia Beatriz

by Daniella Valz Gen



A correspondence with barrunto, an embodied sense of prescience, and barrunto (2024) a film by Emilia Beatriz

The following text responds to barrunto, a film by Emilia Beatriz, which I first encountered in its script form in 2021. Since my initial reading I was drawn in by the congregation of voices the film convenes as it addresses elemental entities across geographies.

In the beauty of the film’s sensitive textures and the variety of registers it elicits between analogue and camera phone footage, barrunto unfolds like a lucid dream, a space of expanded consciousness where the land vibrates to expose the viewer to a series of connections amongst resistance movements and protests –from bomba on the streets of Puerto Rico to traditional Scottish song.

Through a juxtaposition of sound and image –sea and sky, masses of people in the streets synchronising their voices or cacerolas in protest, and moments alone in bed watching events unfold in the street via a mobile phone screen, our own unmoored gaze searches for meaning in between time zones, languages and landscapes. We partake in the loneliness of witnessing the vastness of destruction from a sense of displacement.

As I watch barrunto in early 2024, after several months of witnessing a genocide unfold in Gaza via my own phone screen, the film’s affect actualises a sense of urgency and existential resonance. I’m both activated and held in its mystery as an elemental voice weaves a tapestry of grief for both past and future.

From this place I address my own disquiet.

Queride barrunto,

I’ve known you for so long but rarely have I addressed you directly as a sensation in my body rather than a message I must decode. Your presence, always sudden, is an inner stirring that yanks me into another timeline. You blow through me, me atraviesas con un soplo en el corazón, a wind through the heart, a whispering cacophony of tongues that intermingle with tremors, temblores, Pacific ring quakes.

I know your vibrations barrunto, they move through my bloodlines like a morse code, a cellular stirring of quantum entanglements. An alarm system for terremotos –earthquakes.

barrunto and I skip a beat, I swallow a storm and tighten around it like the walls of a shack in a fire.

barrunto, I know you in my body like I know the ancestral mystery that arouses me with questions:

Where do you come from? Are you the cellular memory of our shared ancestral protest, the muscle memory of a raised fist?

Are you an echo of a primal mother tongue, one that predates language?

Or the imprint of the violence of our primal separation –the embodied acknowledgement of our othering as we take in the space between us, the land and sea.

And who are we barrunto? We, the ones who address you.

barrunto, I address you as the voice of all our ancestors that live in the future, their pulse inside our blood, their invisible presence stirring inside our bodies. I address you as the electric current through my nervous system, the immanence you tease out of me.

I address you as my unease, my disease: You have tied me in a knot, tight with nerve pain, wired into a perpetual longing.

barrunto you are my longing for an elemental voice –una voz elemental– dense with its own gravity. You are my dog-whistle in the frequency of rising temperature alerts. barrunto, my anxiety and my quiet rage.

Queride barrunto, te encuentro –I find you– in my lament for this clumsy tongue and its flimsy language –we say liberation instead of peace, we say resistance is justified. barrunto en mi cacerola in the streets of London banging for a ceasefire while being shushed by a white man because the sound is too loud, too metallic, too acerbic.

I find you in my search for stars as I stomp about, digging holes and burrowing inside my own flesh to find the precious and rare substance that nurtures the root of our shared grief.

How do I carry my radioactive particles, barrunto? How do I carry my grief, my fury, my outpour of tender longing? Who carries it with me, alongside me? How do we know we are in the presence of kindness, of care?

barrunto in the wind, always, whistling through the vents, uncontainable.

barrunto in my dreamstate, at the edge of the land, licking the seafoam that licks the sand. A tongue full of salt. barrunto you are my bend towards the radioactive.

Hazme el cuento de alguna certeza, barrunto –spin a yarn about certainty, I implore you.

All the ghosts are humid and they whisper. All our lovers long to belong.

Unhinged, in the elation of rarified air, I accept your presence as a protest against the unacceptable.

Daniella Valz Gen is a poet, artist and oracle, born in Lima, Perú and based in London. Their work explores the interstices between languages, cultures and value systems with an emphasis on embodiment and ritual, through the mediums of performance, installation, conversation and text.

Valz Gen is the author of the poetry collection Subversive Economies (PSS 2018). Their prose has been published in various art and literary journals such as Lish, SALT. Magazine, Paperwork Magazine and The Happy Hypocrite amongst others.