Totally Independent

by Miguel Hilari

In the song «Nunca Tendremos Mar» the Bolivian experimental hardcore punk band Gato Diablo is negotiating with a national trauma, that is, to have lost the access to the sea in the The War of the Pacific between 1879 to 1883. In the podcast the two Gato Diablo members Bernardo Reb Rojas and Espírito speak about what it means to live in Boliva, funding strategies of their music and nationalistic feelings in Bolivia. A podcast from the Norient exhibition Seismographic Sounds, produced by Miguel Hilari.


Gato Diablo: «Nunca Tendremos Mar»

The title «We Will Never Have the Sea» pokes fun at Bolivians who define cultural identity through national borders. They continue to regret the loss of sea access from the War of the Pacific in 1879. Mixing Hollywood B horror movies with footage from old Bolivian VHS tapes, the clip gives these patriots the finger.


Quotes from the Podcast

«To live in Bolivia means that I have a lot of opportunities that other people don't have and also a lot of barriers and problems that other people don't have. Here we have some kind of freedom that you don't get in other countries but at the same time we are weigh more isolated so it's harder to make a living and to get your art and your music out there. The whole Third World experience is something I kind of like.»


«It's like a national trauma you know. We are even since children educated to recover that territory like a patriotic duty, a strong patriotic symbol. It's very offensive to tell the people ‹Nunca Tendremos Mar› – we will never have sea you know.»

Bernardo Reb Rojas

«Our way to produce music and albums for the band, well we just do everything ourselves. We get together, we write the music and then when it's done we find a way to finance, you know through friends chipping in, doing whatever we can to record the album.»


«There's a lot of do-it-yourself ethic. With making videos it's the same you know. I only use tools that I have at hand, that's why I used footage material.»

Bernardo Reb Rojas

«I am graphic designer so usually I do all the graphic arts so we don't have to spend much there. We make our own CDs, we cut them we fold them, we glue them together, we do everything. In that sense we are totally independant.»


Published on February 27, 2017

Last updated on April 05, 2020


*1985. Film studies in La Paz, Santiago de Chile and Barcelona. He started working in different areas for feature films and TV documentaries, and collaborated on several independent Bolivian films. His first film El corral y el viento was screened and awarded at festivals like Cinéma du Réel, BAFICI, FIDOCS and Márgenes. He is part of the filmmakers collective Socavón Cine and coordinates Festival de Cine Radical in La Paz, Bolivia, where he works as an independent director and producer.
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