The day I discovered the Chureca, the Managua city dump, my life changed. It was in February 2011 and I was working on a radio documentary for Swiss Public Radio. I was a reporter struggling to find an answer to one basic question about his job: What impact do we have on the people we do stories on? I had reported on many critical events around the world, the last major one being the earthquake in Haiti. I had come back from that country full of praise from others but also full of doubts about journalism.
This was the state of mind I was in, when I started working on BY MY SIDE. I met a lot of incre-dible people in the Chureca, but 3 young women stood out: Dominga, Fabiola and Maryuri. I made the film because I want their voices to be heard. Dominga, a 25 year-old woman with terminal Aids, has taught me courage. Despite everything that happened to her, she does not question the events that made her sick. Maryuri, a pregnant 19 year-old woman, and 11 year-old Fabiola have this in common with Dominga. Despite the fact that they live and work in a garbage dump, they don’t complain about their life. They dream about leaving the Chureca, but complaining is simply not something they do. They fight for one single right: the right to survive. And in that respect, they have a lot to teach to each and everyone of us.
A MI LADO (BY MY SIDE)
- Jean-Cosme Delaloye Director & Producer Jean-Cosme has covered many crises around the world, from the civil war in Burundi to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and to the earthquake in Haiti. He has co-produced RAZOR WIRE RODEO in 2006, a feature documentary about the Angola prison rodeo in Louisiana. In the last few years, Jean-Cosme has done in-depth stories in Central America for the Tribune de Genève and for Swiss Public Radio, focusing on critical social issues such as the redemption of gang members and the plight of transsexual prostitutes in Honduras. While doing a series of stories in Nicaragua in early 2011, he discovered the Chureca, the Managua city dump. BY MY SIDE is his first film as a director. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife Danielle and his children, Léon and Joséphine.