Cardinal Points - Photo Exhibition
On both sides of the Equator, my geography is dynamic and assumes new forms all the time. What Huidobro wrote in 1931 does not sound to me as a surreal assertion, but rather typifies my current existence. In all my travels, for many years already, my camera is always with me. With it I can document images that then feed my work as a researcher. A photograph can explain some realities much better than the deepest social science essay.
According to the official information printed in my passport I am a social anthropologist, not a photographer. My photos are therefore characterised by their very obvious social perspective.
It all started some time ago, when I was a student at the University of the Republic in Montevideo. Then the camera was my instrument to record the struggles of the student movement or the land occupations carried out by housing cooperatives. Years later, the focus of my pictures has not changed much.
Now the scenario is global, in the context of my work as a Fellow of the Transnational Institute (TNI, a global network of activist-scholars based in Amsterdam), but the approach remains the same: the social and cultural transformation, the environmental crisis, and political and economic changes... The impact of austerity measures in Europe, the living conditions of people displaced by the war in Colombia, ethnic and religious conflicts in India, the legacy of apartheid in South Africa, the challenges of demographic evolution in the Global South, the effects of climate change, the nature and emancipatory power of the left today, the socio-cultural transmutation of the Mediterranean region... are some of the topics covered by the Cardinal Points project.
As the great master Henri Cartier-Bresson already noted decades ago, “to photograph it is to put on the same line of sight the head, the eye and the heart”. That is precisely the aim of this project, which will continue to evolve in the coming months.
Daniel Chavez Montevideo and Amsterdam, June 2015
Montevideo: El Mingus - San Salvador 1952 (27 May - 30 June 2015)
Amsterdam: #biancolatte - Haarlemmerdijk 188 (19 June - 10 July 2015)