The Bronx Documentary Center’s third annual “Latin American Foto Festival” culls together photographers from Colombia, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Venezuela, Chile and Argentina
Scattered throughout the Melrose neighborhood, the Bronx Documentary Center’s third annual “Latin American Foto Festival” offers a lens into visions of top photographers from the Caribbean and Latin America. The images — displayed as large-scale banners and projections — capture cowgirls in Brazil, uprisings in Chile, political upheaval in Venezuala, Spanish Harlem in the 1950s and more.
Eschewing the indoor component of this year’s festival, the outdoor exhibition went up last week and will be on view through Aug. 2. An online component of the installation is also available via the Center’s website, where viewers can find a map of the installation locations and information about additional virtual workshops, tours and panel discussions. Starting Aug. 2, viewers can explore a digital iteration of the festival on the site.
Among the artists included is the 18-member collective Covid Latam, who explore the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in Latin America by documenting 13 countries. The work of legendary photographer Leo Goldstein lines the Center’s fence in quiet communication with the black-and-white photos created by César Rodríguez, displayed across the street in a community garden.
The museum notes that two of the photographers, Luisa Dörr and Adriana Parrilla, included in this year’s exhibition “celebrate the role and strength of Latin American Women.” In Dörr’s photographs, the figures dominating her frame give voice to the “undergoing syncretic process of assimilation between the North American cowboy culture and the Brazilian one.”
“Beyond the image of Ipanema beach life and favela violence, there is another Brazil, one that even more Brazilians subscribe to: the cowboy life,” Dörr said in an artist statement. “Historically, as in other countries, women have been largely excluded from Brazil’s cowboy culture. But in recent years, women are on a winning streak, whether as rodeo pageant beauty queens, horse-riding champions or platinum-selling country music stars.”
She continued: “The current political climate has made this work a necessity for me. It is a portrait of the juxtaposition of modern Brazil, of the transition from historic to pop culture. Ultimately, it is a world that few people know.”
As for Parrilla, she said in her statement that her photographs are part of her long-term, ongoing project to explore Black identity in Puerto Rico.
“All my life I’ve been called ‘trigueña,’ which is a euphemistic word used in Puerto Rico to describe someone who is black or mixed race,” Parilla said in her statement. “It is a word that confused me because it was always employed to make me feel good about my skin color. Growing up, I knew that I was not white — I was constantly reminded of it. But, I was always trying to figure out if I was black enough.”
Additional artists included in the exhibition — curated by Michael Kamber and Cythia Rivera — are Luján Agusti, Eric Allende, Adriana Loureiro Fernández and Jorge Panchoaga.
Explore more photographs from “Latin American Foto Festival 2020” below.
The third annual “Latin American Foto Festival” exhibition is on view outdoors in the Melrose neighborhood in the Bronx through Aug. 2. An online version of the project will be available on the Bronx Documentary Center website beginning Aug. 2.
Top Image: "An officer in riot gear runs amidst smoke bombs towards protestors in Plaza Dignidad, formerly Plaza Italia, Santiago, Chile." Jan. 29, 2020. Photo: Eric Allende / Migrar Photo.