The Darien Gap


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Creative Technologies


Kristin Carlson

Mentor Department

Creative Technologies


This project aims to introduce the Darien Province, which is located in Panama, close to the Colombia border. Due to the break in the Pan-American Highway, and the remoteness of this region, there are limited ways to access the Darien and limited resources, there is a limited information about the area and the people of the area. My work uses anthropological and archaeological data to inspire the creations of short videos that tell stories of the region. The first video, People of Darien, explores the diversity of people in the Darien region (see Figure 1). This work highlights the location of Darien on the world map, the possible ways to get to the Darien province and cross the Darien Gap, and the variety of people that have traveled through the Darien region through history. This region has witnessed the migration of many different people to it and through it, such as Spanish explorers, Scottish explorers, and Asian laborers from the Panama Canal. These settlements have interacted with the local Wounaan and Embera people. The second video, Travel to the Big Rock in Mogue, highlights an archeologist’s trip to the village of Mogue to see a unique rock that is known for the mysterious carvings in it (see Figure 2). Locals have known about the rock for centuries yet have no known records by academic sources. The archeologist’s team collected many samples of ceramics and unique plant species to study and further their understanding of the area and its history. This video was constructed by using a variety of photos from the author’s field research trip in 2019, and motion graphics. This video is recorded in both English and Spanish, to best reach a variety of local and international audiences.

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The Darien Gap