Pregoneros de Medellín

On April 16, 700 people met at the Lido Theatre in Medellin (Colombia) to celebrate the launch of Pregoneros de Medellín, an interactive web documentary about the street vendors who sing to sell their products. An audience as diverse as heterogeneous, as the soundscape of the city, let itself be seduced by  life stories of the criers; clapping, crying and laughing, confirmed that they connected with the way this web-doc pays homage to the street vendors who understand that the customer, like love, is seduced by ear.

One day after the launch, there had been more than 2,500 visits to the site, and the popularity of the site continues to grow because people from different backgrounds and professions spontaneously pass the message to their acquaintances, encouraging them to live their own documentary experience.

Pregoneros1People outside Lido’s theatre in Medellin waiting for the premiere

In Pregoneros de Medellín, the user takes on a virtual walk of the city, to encounter the 5 street vendor that can appear on any corner. A click on each vendor provides access to videos with stories, routines, anecdotes and the social challenges of these people; people who are appreciated by the city, but so far, had not been given the honor of being treated as protagonists.

Pregoneros3Inside Lido’s theatre during the premiere day

Once on the platform, simply scrolling your mouse is enough to start the journey, a traveling adventure that will turn up the volume of urban poetry. A map, brief indications of navigability and sporadic icons that ask if you want to turn right, left or go straight, are some elements that accompany your unique and personal journey.

screenshot_boyacaWebdoc interface – Medellin streets

A journey that is determined by the order in which you access the videos, streets you choose to discover and how long you want to stay on the web-doc, keeping in mind that when you leave, you can save the progress and continue the journey at the next connection. The code is open-source and available on Github.

screenshot_choosewayWebdoc interface – Direction point

The web-documentary, is a crossroads between the Colombian idiosyncrasies and its popular culture making visible the work of vendors. They are truly brave! Despite the social difficulties and precarious jobs, they hydrate the city with short, melodic, humorous and poetic songs making it a vital soundtrack.

This web-doc is part of the transmedia project Pregoneros de Medellin. Other ways to showcase the theme of streets vendors include: 5 short documentaries for television, an itinerant photo exhibition with more than 30 images, and a feature film documentary that is currently seeking funding for post-production.

Pregoneros2After the project’s premiere, people navigating the project on the theatre stage

Before becoming a reality, this project needed three years  structuration, nurturing and looking for funding. A first step was done through the crowdfunding site kisskissbankbank (french platform). Subsequently, the project won the Create Digital Technology Ministry scholarship of the Ministery of Technology of Colombia, as well as a grant from Colombia in Photos.

This project was initiated by Thibault Durand and Carabalí Creative Group.

The direction of the interactive web documentary was given by Angela Carabalí and Thibault Durand and their local team.

Text written by Juliana Carabalí.