Coca Files is an interactive audiovisual archive that challenges conceptions of the coca leaf and highlights the irreparable damage caused to indigenous communities and important landscapes by the international demand for cocaine.
The coca leaf in its natural form is important to indigenous peoples in South America, who have traditionally chewed and brewed it for centuries. Prized for its spiritual guidance, the sacred plant acts as the technology the indigenous people use to access ancient archival knowledge held in their bodies and minds.
The international demand for cocaine in its street form has wrecked the Amazon socially and ecologically, as evidenced by extreme deforestation in Colombia, where the government fumigates the forest to eradicate associated illegal activities. This takes from the rainforest and its guardians, denying communities their heritage and destroying traditional uses of the plant.
Coca Files gathers sound and visual material collected by 4Direcciones during its 15 years of working together with indigenous communities of the Amazon. By examining traditional coca use both in the Amazon and in the Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta, their work highlights little-known practices native to Colombian cultures.
4Direcciones Audio-Visual is a production company founded in 2006 by Diana Rico and Richard Decaillet, a collaborative duo of Colombian artists based in Bogotá. Its aim is to raise awareness of the cultures and traditions of indigenous communities in the Americas. The company produces documentaries, feature films, animation series, immersive sound installations and mixed reality exhibitions, as well as live events that explore the relationship between art, spirituality and the environment.
Diana Rico is an artist, filmmaker and singer based in Bogotá. During her 25-year career in media production, cultural management and journalism she has created and hosted TV shows about art and cinema. In addition to her 14 years of work with 4Direcciones, her artistic activities explore heritage, indigenous traditions, music and activism.
Richard Decaillet is an artist, audio-visual director and producer based in Bogotá. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the National School of Fine Arts in Paris. His audio-visual works integrate digital experiences with live events, expanding beyond traditional screens (TV, cinema, and online) into spaces such as radio, museums, galleries and festivals. His multifaceted work seeks to inspire and spark change.