Camila Points



Creative Commons Licence


Contributed date

November 28, 2018 - 9:11pm

Critical Commentary

Design Statement:

I selected this screen shot from the film documentary "The Lead Zone" (Graeter 2018) because it captures a moment of toxic virtuality storytelling. 

  • Centered in the image is Camila, a woman in her early 40s, describing how lead contaminated soils move through space and enter the bodies of denizens of her barrio at the Port of El Callao, Peru.
  • Soil around the storage yards contains lead particulate, leaking from passing trucks, transport and storage practices, and mineral robbery by local black market mafias. Camila's neighborhood, only a couple blocks away from the storage yard facing us in the image, is not "counted" among the lead afflicted and doesn't garner the benefits occasionally doled out by transnational corporations at the port.
  • The image captured depicts her pointing to the trucks passing by carrying loads of minerals and construction supplies destined for the mineral storage yard across the street. They are supposedly sealed, she comments, but as they pass by, they lift up all the mineral. Her neighbors walk along this road to get to and from work, the kids, to and from school. As she talks, dust lades the air surrounding the truck tires as they screech, turn, break. Worse still, she offers, the wind blows the dust straight to their barrio.
  • Without access to other visual technologies, her narrative reflects her embodied visualization of how lead moves through space and bodies. Her pointing and telling imposes a virtual reality upon the viewer to encounter a physical space that entails ambigous flows of toxic matter, which they cannot avoid, even if they cannot fully know.