El Pan de Cada Día [Daily Bread] by Daniela Rodriguez
Daniela Rodriguez is a Colombian American animation filmmaker based in Atlanta, Georgia. Their latest work, El Pan de Cada Día [Daily Bread] (2020) is a short documentary film created with footage captured in Bogotá, Colombia. There they visited several food and service locales to bring attention to the business model that many close knit countries such as Colombia ascribe to, removed from a corporate lifestyle. Many of these workplaces embody community, and simultaneously function as spaces of knowledge sharing. The culture that arises from such networks often goes unnoticed to the larger ecosystem. Rodriguez’s lens dials in on the monotonous practices in efforts to elucidate its importance to sustainability and really, their way of life. The film is inspired by “a rich survey of Latin American and Colombian documentaries that utilize poetic, experimental and reflexive forms and rhetoric in order to captivate audiences, democratize authority, and or metaphorize the topic.” As a filmmaker Rodriguez employs a participatory role during the production of the documentary to more fully illustrate “a close approximation to quotidian reality.” The finished product became their thesis project at Georgia Tech for an M.S. in Global Media and Cultures. For more information about the artist and any upcoming projects visit their Instagram: @acapulpo ~
“El Pan de Cada Día [Daily Bread] reintroduces “panaderias” as spaces that demonstrate the hidden value in quotidian life and business informality, two things that are overlooked or regarded as unessential under the current globalized paradigm. Panaderias are family-owned bread stores ubiquitous in Colombia. They act as meeting places for the surrounding community, as a convenient and affordable way to acquire fresh food, and as an opportunity for many to own a business. More specifically, due to their popularity in day-to-day reality, panaderias encompass culturally appropriate ways of business and community making (for Colombia’s working class) that are worth exploring, yet evident to those participating in them for the fact is just their reality. Being mostly family businesses, panaderias’s practices differentiate those of chain or industrial stores; while still profit-driven, their popularity is based on word-of-mouth, and their production reliant on in-store hand labor. Strategies such as digital dependency, labor specialization, or online marketing (among others) have not yet seized over panaderias the same way they have over other industries across the world. El Pan de Cada Día [Daily Bread] gives a platform to practices that are usually disregarded for not being the globalized “norm.”
The concept of revisiting traditions and embracing alternative informal methods is now most widely discussed in pedagogical theory as it argues that the same informal pedagogies that are being eradicated by the standardization in education, are the ones that provide fresher perspectives to deal with oppressive world problems. Some texts exploring this concept include Out of the Ruins: The Emergence of Radical Informal Learning Spaces by Robert Haworth and John Elmore, Interdisciplinary Approaches to Pedagogy and Place-Based Education From Abstract to the Quotidian by Deric Shannon and Jeffery Galle, and Learning from the Ground Up: Global Perspectives on Social Movements and Knowledge Production by Aziz Choudry and Dip Kapoor. Although El Pan de Cada Día [Daily Bread] does not focus on pedagogy, it presents panaderias as informal spaces with localized knowledge and as valuable disruption to standardization. This short film recognizes panaderias as spaces that showcase an unpretentious, informal and grassroots aspect of Colombian culture and that exist under an alternative social and laboral paradigm.
Additionally, panaderias are not unique. Counterpart spaces that also embrace informality in business and “neighborhood culture” exist around the world and within the same neighborhoods panaderias are in. In Colombia’s context, places like plazas de frutas (fruit flazas), florerias (flower shops), peluquerias (hair salons), y corrientazos (family-owned restaurants) also exist within the same realm as panaderias. El Pan de Cada Día [Daily Bread] suggests that while informality is an actuality in which many strive to move away from, it is not only still present, but also mainly sustained through the working class and prefered by those who cannot adapt to newer formalizations.” - Daniela Rodriguez