VOCES LATIN AMERICAN PHOTOGRAPHY 1980 – 2015
Voces is a new and exciting photography exhibition showcasing the work of artists that come from Chile, Argentina, Brazil and Mexico and who take their own culture and heritage as primary sources of inspiration combining photography with other techniques such as collage, silk-printing, painting, and archival documents.
When people refer to Latin America there’s a general belief of common identity but even though some countries share a history marked by political and social upheaval what the exhibition wants to communicate is that it is misleading to speak of a ‘Latin American’ entity because Latin American culture is a mixture of many cultural expressions.
To have a better understanding we need to know where its population comes from. The inhabitants are of a variety of ancestries, ethnic groups, and races, making the region one of the most diverse in the world. They are the product of many diverse influences such us:
- Indigenous cultures like the Maya, the Aztecs and the Incas who inhabited the continent prior to the arrival of the Europeans.
- Western civilization, mainly the culture of Europe brought by the colonial powers – the Spanish, Portuguese and French – between the 16th and 19th centuries and being the most lasting European colonial influence the languages (Spanish and Portuguese) and religion (Roman Catholicism).
- African cultures that arrived to the continent during the transatlantic slave trade that took place from the 16th through to the 19th centuries.
- Asian cultures, mostly arriving during the 19th and 20th centuries.
One of the biggest problems that today affects the territory is social and income inequality, being Latin America the most unequal region in the world causing an increment in crime rate and criminal culture and forcing children to seek work on the streets when their families can no longer afford to support them.
Something that all Latin Americans do have in common is the dream of justice and social equality, the need to be understood, the hope of feeling safe in their own territory and most importantly the desire to be heard by those who are in power. They fight against corruption, crime and violence and demand a better quality of life and education for this generation and the ones to come. Along the years people have chosen street protests, music and art as different ways of communicating their disagreement with the unfair circumstances they have to tolerate day by day.
If you feel like broadening your knowledge on Latin America politics, economy and social problems and practise your Spanish skills at the same time have a look to this website http://www.bbc.com/mundo/temas/america_latina or this one http://www.elpais.com.co/elpais/temas/america-latina but if you want to know more about Latin American contemporary art you might find this link very useful http://www.malba.org.ar/introduccion/.
I invite you to have a look at the work of these artists and share your opinion on the pictures that moved you and drew your attention.