De Paso

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El 21 de abril del 2012 el Centro Hemisférico presentó una exposición fotográfica basada en la nueva obra de Vanessa García Blanca, una fotógrafa local que evidencia el mundo de los pueblos migrantes. Titulada “De Paso,” la exposición narró visualmente el ciclo migratorio centroamericano en todas sus etapas, experiencias y miradas. Ella montó sus fotos usando cajas negras e iluminadas con la meta de fomentar en el público una mirada auténtica hacia el otro, específicamente el inmigrante centroamericano, y de permitirle mirar una migración peligrosa desde una perspectiva más íntima.

El texto introductorio de la exposición, escrito por Rocato, un escritor local, dice, “Esta exposición fotográfica atraviesa un camino con variadas identidades políticas y culturales, donde se coloca a las y los migrantes en ésa delgada línea entre la ‘nación y la no-nación.’ Tanto para ellos como para los países de tránsito y receptores, el concepto de ‘nación’ se va viviendo de diferentes maneras… algunas veces es un camuflaje, otras es un espejismo, a veces es un sentimiento de orgullo o de melancolía, otras de unión y empatía, o hasta de impotencia y coraje…

“Migrar no es sencillo. Es, más bien, doloroso; a veces, terrible. Pero la migración es una apuesta por la vida, aunque se juegue la vida. Ese mundo de los pueblos migrantes, es lo que ha impulsado a Vanessa García Blanca no sólo a mostrárnoslo sino a enfrentarnos a él sin complacencias. No hace concesiones, aunque el color pueda diluir en algo el dolor, pero también lo ataja y lo clarifica, lo hace contundente. La muestra de esta joven ,nacida en el norte de México y arraigada en el sur, pone de manifiesto su amor a la tierra que pisan los caminantes. “De Paso” es una entrega de ese mundo, una forma de mostrar con imaginación la atmósfera que viven los migrantes.

“Sus cajas pequeñas y rectangulares y alargadas obligan al espectador a meterse en ese mundo, pero no desde la comodidad de la vista. Hay que asomarse, quitarse los prejuicios y dar algo de sí, para luego conmoverse, pero no quedarse ahí, y tomar conciencia de la tragedia que viven los pueblos originales, los indígenas, los hombres y mujeres del campo de esta región del país. Aquí, en este escenario, se suceden las historias: El Camino, El Paso, Trampa y La Bestia forman esta peripecia de fotografía y escenografía, de montaje y luz entre las sombras del dolor.

“Vanessa ha decidido ser parte de esta historia que muestra los riesgos que corren los que José Martí llamó los pobres de la tierra, desde el momento de decisión de migrar, lo imbricado de los caminos, los peligros y los abusos de delincuentes y de autoridades, la penuria de la derrota, de haber sido vencidos ante la adversidad que se suma a las calamidades que padecen desde siempre. La fotografía se ajusta a las circunstancias, sin sofisticación, pero con el ojo agudo que quiere mostrar no sólo cuerpos mutilados y angustiados, sino un periplo en el que se arriesga todo con tal de encontrar dignidad. Y como cantaba Amparo Ochoa: ‘Eso de jugar a la vida, es algo que a veces duele.”

On April 21, 2012, Centro Hemisférico presented a photography exhibition of new works produced by Vanessa García Blanca, a local photography, that documented the world of migratory populations in Central America. Entitled “Passing By,” the show narrated visually the migratory cycles that take place throughout the region in all of its stages, experiences, and views. The photographer mounted her photographs using black, illuminated boxes with the goal of creating a real glimpse at the life of the “other,” specifically the Central American immigrant, and of allowing the audience to witness the dangerous process of international migration from a more intimate viewpoint.

In the introductory text to the exhibition, written by Rocato, a local writer, he comments, “This exhibition follos a migratory route with various political and cultural identities that places all of its followers in a grey zone between ‘nation’ and ‘no-nation.’ For the migrants and for the countries through which they pass, the notion of ‘nationhood’ is lived differently… Sometimes, it serves as a camouflage; other times, it is an illusion; occasionally, it is a sense of pride or of melancholy, or of community and empathy, or even of impotence and courage…

“Migrating is not easy. In fact, it is painful and, on occasion, terrible, but to migrate is to bet in favor of one’s life, even as it plays with the migrant’s own mortality. Vanessa García Blanca shows us this world of migratory populations in all of its brutality and imperfections. She makes no concessions. Although her use color could dilute visually the pain of the migratory experience, she uses it to contain, clarify, and increase the potency of her images and their stories. The exhibition of this young woman born in the north of Mexico and settled in the south due to her love of the land crossed by so many immigrants, “Passing By” delivers the world of the migrant to the viewer in an imaginative way that illustrates the environment in which these immigrants live.

“Her small, rectangular, long boxes require the viewer to immerse him or herself in this world, but not from the comfort of their own, detached perspective. They have to enter into this world, free themselves from prejudices and give something of themselves in order to be moved and become conscious of the tragedies suffered by indigenous populations and the rural men and women in this part of the country. The exhibition is comprised of specific narratives- ‘The Journey,’ ‘The Step,’ ‘The Trap,’ and ‘The Beast’- that together create this photographic and dramatic event.

“Vanessa has decided to become part of this history that documents the risks run by those referred to by José Martí as ‘the poor men of the earth.’ She does so beginning at the moment in which her subjects decide to migrate and subsequently documents the overlapping of migratory routes; the dangers and abuse perpetrated by delinquents and authorities alike; and the misery of having been defeated in the face of adversity by the same, constant calamities. The photography adjusts itself to the circumstances without sophistication but with a sharp eye that seeks to display not only mutilated and anguished bodies but also a voyage during which all is risked in an effort to obtain some sense of dignity. As Amparo Ochoa sang, ‘The process of risking one’s life occassionally hurts.’”

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Acerca de Arte Acción

Arte Acción is an interdisciplinary platform located in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas that focuses on developing public performance programming and linking different social groups together in order to promote diverse forms of human development through diverse, continual activities geared towards increasing public awareness, personal reflection and the creation of artistic and political projects. It is a platform first developed with the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics in collaboration with Fortaleza de la Mujer Maya (FOMMA), a theatre troupe of indigenous women. Arte Acción, encompasses public lectures, roundtables, performances, public actions and projections seeking to promote, present and archive performative practices as a social, cultural and political in it's collaboration and research with local, national, and international communities.