Equipments Used for the Project
Camera: X-Pro2, X-T1, X-E2, X100S
Lens: XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS、XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR
“Patria o Muerte” reflects on the ambiguity of politics in relation to society, economy and culture in Cuba and Venezuela. The project is structured through symbols and metaphors that represent actual Socialism; the remembrance of Communism; the utopia of the “new man” cuban revolution; and how it has been replicated in Venezuela. It also shows the love-hate relationship to Capitalism; their dependency on others; and their struggle for decades against embargo and isolation, which continues to bring poverty and difficulties in quite a lot aspects of life, infrastructure and commodities. Also presents a view on corruption, use of power and military absolutism, lack of freedom of speech and fear to express feelings. Now, after the death of their leaders Fidel Castro and Hugo Chávez, people are asking themselves: what could happen next?
I visited 8 times Cuba and 2 times Venezuela (+ 1 visit to the border) to produce a visual narrative of the political, social and economical situation of Venezuela and Cuba. I wanted to imprint my personal point of view of the situation by rethinking the stereotypes on how the war-cry “Patria o Muerte” (motherland and death) has been symbolize and photographed.
The photobook “Patria o Muerte”, that will be published in the beginning of 2019 by La Luminosa, wants to represent a manual or notebook. Details as the ringed notebook and stripped sheets, recall the idea of education, school but also doctrine and ideology.
I’ve been working on the edition for almost two years, and it’s based on pairing images, as: Cuba-Venezuela; Cuba-Cuba; and Venezuela-Venezuela. The sequence looks for the atmosphere and dark tones.
The structure of the book is divided in 5 chapter: it begins with a) a revolutionary utopia and hope; b) then continues presenting daily life. In the middle, c) appear the death of leaders Fidel and Chávez; followed by d) ruin and decline of Cuba and Venezuela; and finishing with e) the uncertainty that is coming further.