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Bocas De Ceniza


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Description: I was drowning in words. With that, Juan Manuel Echavarra walked away from a 30 year career as a writer of fiction. A year later, he stumbled into his new vocation. Driving through Bogota, he noticed that sidewalk vendors were displaying their wares on battered old mannequins. Shoppers rifling through the clothing werent paying attention, but for Echavarra, for a moment, the mannequins became the roughed-up citizens of Colombia, rural peasants suffering massacre after massacre, displaced, made refugees, killed. These discarded and recycled stand-ins for the human body seemed to represent the damaged lives of ordinary people made helpless, homeless and violent by 50 years of civil war–the same refugees shopping in the market. Through photography and video, Echavarra went on to create the visual requiem thats documented here–the titular work, a 75-minute film, has been shown at The Museum of Modern Art, among other museums–a sad hymn to his own country, Colombia.


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