Roots en Route. An Atlas of Black Gold delves into three different geographies: Ouro Preto, Minagerais, Brasil; Gillette, WY, U.S.; and Ciudad del Carmen, Campeche, Méxicoits and their main industries of extraction: gold, coal and oil. The film moves across history, from the colonial period to the present moment, exploring local histories that help to understand a global context, in which I focus on the impact of natural and human resources exploitation, the population displacements and migration due to natural disasters and expansion of capitalism and industrial development. 

In this research, I explore how “a simple material can talk about environmental racism, ecological debt, corporate imperialism, resilience and, especially, the importance of decolonizing, not just history but also our concept of nature and the construction we have made of it.”1

My goal is to investigate experiences that we consider belonging to the other but in reality are common to different territories, using ecological analysis as a means of understanding human history. This implies pluralizing geological, historical and artistic thought as a political project of resisting, transforming or escaping the western tradition within the scope of environmental history.

  1. DE LA TORRE, Blanca. Elena Lavellés. Dark Matter. En: CABRERO, Ignacio (com.). Generación 2018. (Madrid, La Casa Encendida, 01/02/2018-15/04/2018, p.140-163) 


Director, Scriptwriter, Cinematographer, Art Direction and Edition: Elena Lavellés

Sound design: Gastón Horischnik and Javier Lara

Sound: Gastón Horischnik and Elena Lavellés


Frank Lang (Gillette, WY, US)

Phil Christopherson (Energy Capital. Gillette, WY, US)

Jeff Wandler (L&H Industrial, Gillette, WY, US)

Brittney Thomas (L&H Industrial, Gillette, WY, US)

Robert A. Henning (Rock Pile Museum. Gillette, WY, US)

Bob Stowe (Gillette, WY, US)

Tonino Minha (Chico Rei Mine, Ouro Preto, Brazil)

Beto (Chico Rei Mine, Ouro Preto, Brazil)

Paulo Baptista (Movimiento do Gandarela y Prof. Minas Gerais Federal University. BH, Minas Gerais, Brazil)

Adrian Flores and Yannick Deniau (GeoComunes Colective, Ciudad de México)

Anel Alejandra Jiménez Cruz  (Coordinadora de Servicios Culturales y Educativos, Ciudad del Carmen, Campeche, México)

Estrella Fuentes Durán (Ciudad del Carmen, Mexico)

Tomás José Obrador Garrido Capellini (Ciudad del Carmen, Mexico)

Drone Operator: Artur Silva 

Filmed on Location

Black Thunder Mine. (WY, U.S.)

Dry Fork Power Plant. (WY, U.S.)

Energy Capital (Gillette, WY, U.S.)

Eagle Butte Mine. (WY, U.S.)

L&H Industrial. Gillette, (WY, U.S.)

Rock Pile Museum. (Gillette, WY, U.S.)

Library of Congress (Washington, D.C., U.S.)

Whitney Independent Study Program studios (NYC, NY, U.S.)

Parque Ecológico El Fénix. (Ciudad del Carmen, Campeche, Mexico) 

Maritime Port  (Ciudad del Carmen, Campeche, Mexico)

Arpoador(Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plaça Tiradentes (Ouro Preto, Brazil) 

Mina de Chico Rei (Ouro Preto, Brazil) 

Geological and Mining Institute of Spain (Madrid, Spain)

Stills and Stock Footage Courtesy of

Rock Pile Museum. (Gillette, WY, U.S.)

Library of Congress(Washington, D.C., U.S.)

International Monetary Fund Archives (Washington, D.C., U.S.)

Special Thanks


Blanca de la Torre, Javier Esquillor y Vivero de Iniciativas Ciudadanas, Maria Lourdes Fernández Díaz  Facultad de CC.Geológicas de la UniversidadComplutense de Madrid, Pablo Galán Coppel, Mónica Iglesias (By Mónica Studio, Madrid, Dorian de Kermadec (Principal Consultant, Pöyry), Jana Pacheco, Jesús Reyes de Andrés, Geological and Mining Institute of Spain. Madrid, Matadero Madrid 


Prof. André Luis Carvalho (Ouro Preto Federal University. Minas Gerais), Jornal A Sirene, (Minas Gerais), Adriana Bravin


Laura Cervera Fuentes (Ciudad del Carmen), Capitán Antonio García Gall (Maritime Port of Ciudad del Carmen, Campeche), GeoComunes Collective, especially to Adrian Flores and Yannick Deniau (Ciudad de México), Carlos Palácios (Museo Carrillo Gil, Ciudad del México)

United States

Rebecca Baron (CalArts. CA, US), Ashley Hunt (CalArts. CA, US), Fico Lazzaro-Colon (Washington D.C.), L&H Industrial and all its staff (Gillette, WY, US), Juliana Luján (Los Angeles, CA), Anneta Orraca-Tetteh (Communications Officer, International Monetary Fund. Washington D.C., U.S.)