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Exodus Alternate Documents, 2014.

Between August and September of 1994, more than 35,000 Cubans embarked for the United States in precarious boats built with their own limited resources. Designed as a laboratory or a relational workspace that combined artistic and documentary practices, Exodus: Alternate Documents aimed to create a new type of information—content alternative to the original document—that was capable of opening new and unpublished routes to redirect the traditional story about the Crisis of the Rafters in Cuba. The exhibition involved the active participation of the public.

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Agbogbloshie 375, 2020.

At the end of February 2020, I returned from Accra, the capital of Ghana, where I had been photographing the Agbogbloshie Scrapyard. The project forms part of a multi-city series on the excessive accumulation of waste. Agbogbloshie 375, the series of photographs of which I am presenting here, contains in its title a catastrophic figure: the index of air pollution recorded on the first day of my visit, a figure that far exceeds the index that human beings can tolerate.

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Return to Koyaanisqatsi, 2019.

And why the junkyards? Because never before in the history of human civilization has waste constituted such a threat as the one it poses for us nowadays. We can hear today a prophetic echo in the words sent in 1855 by Chief Seattle of the Duwamish tribe to then-President of the United States Franklin Pierce: “My words are like the stars –they do not set. How can you buy or sell the sky –the warmth of the land? The idea is strange to us. Yet we do not own the freshness of the air or the sparkle of the water (…) This earth is precious to him [God], and to harm the earth is to heap contempt on its Creator. The whites, too, shall pass – perhaps sooner than other tribes. Continue to contaminate your bed, and you will one night suffocate in your own waste.”

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“The images shown in North Bound, Beyond the Blue Wall, are endowed with the power to shock that documentary material attains when, challenging the hegemonic, it recounts big history from perspectives which differ from those of power and its discourses, but which are closer to the forgotten epic of a people’s history: a much more real vision of the destinies of common people, reinventing their own lives”.  

Adriana Herrera

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