If any country knows about violence against environmental and indigenous leaders, it is Colombia. The South American country’s star band, Bomba Estéreo, would not be silent.
The group premiered the official music video for their single “Tierra,” leaving us goosebumps. The video stars Liliana Saumet and Lukas Avendaño, a non-binary Zapotec indigenous performance artist. “Tierra” was filmed in Oaxaca and directed by Fana Adjani.
“This song and video are an homage to the ancient relationship between humans and the territory we inhabit,” explains Bomba’s founder Simon Mejia in a press release. “The earth should belong to everyone, as we belong to her, independent of race, identity or nationality.”
“The ‘Tierra’ video is a project that generates a collective embrace, a series of actions that promote dialogue from the plurality of voices and existence,” shares the director Fana. “It is there where we find a detonator of hope and action, ecofeminism, the defense of territory, caring for the seed, the ‘muxeidad.’ In the diversity and interculturality is where the community is woven, and that is where Latin America can be free.”
The song “Tierra” is from Bomba Estéreo’s recent Grammy-nominated album, “Deja,” conceptually divided into four sections corresponding to the four elements of the earth.
“This album has a very special aura,” Simon explains. “It was a community effort, a lot of hands, a lot of hearts giving their energy and talent. This album belongs to the planet, not Bomba. It’s dedicated to everyone that participated. Our band, our team, and Daniel Bustos commanded all the recording in this beautiful process. May he rest in peace.”
“The album is about the connection and disconnection of human beings—from the planet, from one’s own self,” Li explains. “It’s about how we’re disconnected, more connected to electronic devices and virtual things than real things. So we decided to use the four elements because they’re part of the equilibrium of human beings.”
This time, the band decided to self-produce the album (outside of a couple of guest producers like Trooko) and built a makeshift studio in Li’s house in Santa Marta.
“Deja” is one of those albums that forms a unity even in its disparate sections. It is an album that conveys joy, loss, exhilaration, and sadness all at once.
“Some heavy things are happening to the world, and we have to share them,” Li says. “We made this album so you can dance to it at a club, but at the same time, it has a profound meaning. It’s meant for you to dance perreo with a conscience.”