Our destiny may only be changed if we allow ourselves to imagine a destiny different from that which we were given.”
Argentine photographer Martín Weber’s series, A Map of Latin American Dreams charts the dreams of people he encountered in Argentina, Cuba, Mexico, Peru, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Brazil, and Colombia between 1992 and 2007. He will be speaking about the series during Sunday’s Artists Talk with Graciela Iturbide (October 24, 2010 at Splashlight Studio, NYC).
En Foco is excited to be able to offer a gorgeous limited edition print of Comunidade Karapotó, Alagoas, Brazil, 2005—an archival pigment print on Canson Infinity Platine Fibre Rag measuring 8.5 x 10.5 inches.
Weber invites his sitters to write their aspirations on a chalkboard as a way of presenting their personal stories and retaining power over their own representation. The shaman in Comunidade Karapotó has written in Portuguese “Eu, Pajé, quero que minha filha estude para defender seus direitos” (I, pajé, want my daughter to study to defend her rights). Weber shared with us the circumstances surrounding the photograph:
These communities are populated by groups that had once lived freely, until ranchers fenced off the land, deforested it, and through the government confined the people to compounds. They are left with little legal representation or protection, living in small geographic areas with scant resources for their needs. I found working with these communities was very rewarding, for the people were generous and open to my project.
We arrived almost by chance at the reservation where we found the pajé (shaman), Auro, who wanted his daughter to study law in order to defend her rights. Many people who ended up on the margins of cities are now rediscovering their rights to the land and the authenticity of their claims. They are learning that their present situation is not a consequence of their actions but the result of expropriation. So they dream of a peaceful return to dignity. Similar conditions exist in squatter communities around Rio de Janeiro. There, the people struggle to take ownership of the land they live on, amid drug cartels and government wars.”
We are left to hope that the pajé’s dream will change his and his daughter’s destinies.
Please join us October 24th to hear Weber speak about his work and to see and purchase Comunidade Karapotó in person. It is also available online via En Foco’s Print Collectors Program.
Weber’s work is also on view through March 20, 2011 in Cultural Memory Matters: Joseph Rodriguez and Martín Weber at 601 Artspace, 601 West 26th Street #1755, New York, New York.