Through Their Eyes
Venezuela is at a juncture in which the fate of the country is being played out in the midst of an ever-deepening crisis; it is indisputable that there’s an urgency and necessity to document and focus on the problems that the country is suffering. In an attempt to sensitize, to awaken consciousness and to invite an optimistic but undiminished approach of what is happening in Venezuela; I focused my camera and I decided to document the lives of young Venezuelans who continue to live there and are desperately and actively trying to create the country they envision through their projects.
The magnitude of the socio-economic crisis in Venezuela overshadows the struggles and lives of these youngsters. This series attempts to reconstruct the loose narratives of the stories these young Venezuelans have told me to give an image of the country ‘Through Their Eyes’ and invites a different perspective on the subject; based on the idea that reality depends on where we put the attention and the attention depends on the discourse that informs us; according to the prevailing paradigmatic system. In a country whose reality reflects chaos without escape, the youngsters have opted for a different mindset one that is oriented towards not having to depend on the external or conditioned to the past. By aligning their ideas, language, emotions, and actions they are weaving their destiny and transforming themselves into new beings, generators of projects and therefore of reality.
Capturing the images on a Hasselblad medium format analog camera added fragility to the photographs and this approach seemed appropriate because going back to Venezuela felt like traveling back through time; given the current socio-economic crisis. I interviewed and photographed youngsters between the age of 15 to 35; from different cities across Venezuela (Caracas, Valencia and Merida), educational and socio-economical levels to have a broader picture of the situation.
My work is influenced by nature’s symbiotic delicate relationship to human be- ings which elucidates that, what we see and experience in the physical world is like a mirror and can become a manifestation of our emotional wounds. To a certain degree, these images are like a web of thoughts and feelings that reveals the contradictions young Venezuelans are trying to reconcile. The resulting body of work illustrates how the financial crisis and social depression harms the young men and women I photographed. By displaying portraits and the places that play important roles in the lives of Venezuelan youth and metaphorical represent their thoughts and feelings, I aim to offers an insight into the challenges they face, as well as their choices, hopes, dreams and energy.
Pessimism pollutes the atmosphere and the air stagnates with frustration but not in this project because it is told by its protagonists; the young people who, like the Phoenix are reborn from the ashes.