Latin American Foto Festival: The image is unconfined on the streets and the Internet
The best photographers in Latin America and the Caribbean are filling the streets of the Bronx until August 2, and then they will enter homes. What are the images of the moment?
With more than half of its neighbors being of Latino origin, the Bronx is one of the most diverse counties in New York and therefore one of the regions that has experienced the most severe of the coronavirus pandemic.
Although the courage to mobilize is not only expressed at the polls but also in the interest of culture and the celebration of the bridges that unite the Latino district par excellence with the creators of Latin America, something the Bronx Documentary Center (BDC) has been celebrating for three years with great success.
Now, because of the pandemic, the galleries where the images of Latin American photographers are usually exhibited are closed, but the BDC has seen an opportunity to take the Latin American Foto Festival in two directions: to the streets of the district, in community gardens and sidewalks where the exhibition can be appreciated avoiding crowds since July 23, and to homes around the world starting August 2.
"This is something we always do at least half outdoors," Michael Kamber, founder of the gallery that designed the festival along with Cynthia Rivera, coordinator of the exhibition, told the BBC. "With the gallery closed, it seemed like an opportunity to grow." He also added that "photography in Latin America is exploding in surprising ways. The most exciting work I'm seeing today is actually coming out of Latin America."
The experience of the COVID in America, Black identities and the life experience of women is the focus this year of the third edition of a festival that builds bridges through images, photo-reportage and documentary photography, and which this year is also announced with easily accessible tours and virtual workshops.
The most current and newsworthy part of the festival has to do with the pandemic in Central and South American countries, which even today continue to suffer its scourge with countless human and economic losses. Above all, thanks to COVID LATAM, a collective of 18 photographers — half of them women — began sharing snapshots of the crisis on Instagram when the focus was on Europe, remembers Argentinean Sebastián Gil Miranda, a member of the collective.
Now their images of the "new normal" and how the crisis affects people's daily lives in places like Lima, Venezuela, Uruguay or Chile have come to life on the streets of New York.
Other interesting works can also be seen, with a narrative force that leaves you breathless. Like Luján Agusti's portraits of clowns in the town of Coatepec, Veracruz (Mexico) or the complexities of being Afro-Latino and Puerto Rican in Adriana Parrilla's highly personal work "No me llames 'trigueña; Soy Negra."
In Adriana Rodríguez's moving series Paraíso Perdido, which began ten years ago, she shows the plummeting of Venezuela and the corruption and lack of medicine and food that its citizens are forced to endure in contrast to its beautiful natural environment.
The uprising in Chile over the rise in the price of transport documented by Migrar Photo co-founder Eric Allende and the strength of Brazilian cowgirls, portrayed by Luisa Dörr are other series that explore in a transversal way the complex web of contradictions, struggles and inspiring movements in Latin America.
Are you prepared to travel without leaving your neighborhood, or even your home?