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Afrovalerians. Memory, territory and otherness

“Afrovalerianos. Memory, territory and otherness”, is a long term documentary and visual work, based on the relationship, trust and collaboration achieved with the Afro-Mexican community of Valerio Trujano, in the Cañada region of Oaxaca. This closeness and immersion have allowed me to carry out processes of visual representation in which social, cultural and historical meanings mentioned by the community itself have been integrated. The visual documentation has mainly included portraits, landscape, architecture, as well as the rescue and digitalization of photographs from their family album as a central element of their identity and collective memory. The consideration of their photographs of the family past intertwined with the images generated in the present, have made possible the emergence of crucial stories and reflections for the community in their search for reaffirmation of their Afro-Mexican identity, which has been invisibilized and not even considered in the cartography that represents the black peoples of the coast of Oaxaca, Mexico.

The proposal intends to converge, from photography -as a social link of a look of otherness; of ways of life that from human rights and the cultural dimension we seek to recognize in their otherness-, three crucial aspects for their social memory and identity: visual history (by rescuing and digitizing the family album), oral history (by recognizing their voices, testimonies and stories as support and dialogue with the images created) and the photographs I take of their present (considering their diverse realities and imaginaries, and even being sustained and “intervened” these images from the stories, significant sites and memories that the villagers themselves share with me).