The Experience of Drugs: Utopian Imagination and Virtual Community in The Rose Seller

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Lizardo Herrera


This article explores the hallucinations and the utopian desire in The Rose Seller (1998), a movie by the Colombian director Víctor Gaviria. On the one hand, the film shows the death of the street children of Medellín-Colombia and that the surrounding world of drugs is extremely violent; thus the audience can watch how these children live in very precarious conditions and how they are forced to face death on a daily basis. On the other hand, drugs lead these children to an imaginary space where they experience their affective world intensely. I suggest that this imaginary space constitute their utopian desire, which helps the children to make their world livable again and to remain alive. The importance of the utopian desire lies in how it makes the imagination of a different kind of collective experience possible and generates solidarity with those who live in dangerous and difficult conditions.

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Articles (Peer Reviewed)
Author Biography

Lizardo Herrera, Hampden-Sydney College

Lizardo Herrera is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Spanish at Hampden-Sydney College, Virginia. He did his doctorate at University of Pittsburgh, with a dissertation titled Ética, utopía e intixicación en Rodrigo D. No futuro y La vendedora de rosas (Ethics, Utopia, and Intoxication in Rodrigo D. No Future and The Rose Seller). He has an MA in Cultural Studies from Univesidad Andina Simón Bolívar (Quito-Ecuador) and completed his Licenciatura in history at the Catholic At these institutions he wrote two theses about the Colonial Baroque in Quito during the seventeenth century.