Colombia is a playground for photographers, because every corner of this diverse country holds a detail, a face, a smile and sunset. The first gallery of pictures in which I explored my understanding of Colombia’s art, reflected some of the land’s nature, trade, sunsets and doors. This post includes art, history, water and my perception of God.
Although I have a disdain for the thievery involved in establishing some museums, where people’s history is removed from its locality, often without the consent of the people it once belonged to, they can be a fascinating place to see aspects of a country’s past. The building’s walls were also home to some impressive street art, more often than not expressing outrage for Colombian politics and ensuing poverty.
Similar to my experiences in Mexico, I found myself feeling uncomfortable admiring the beauty of the physical legacy of colonialism. Buildings built by slaves oozed ornateness, intricacy and a delicateness not evident in the architecture that followed that dark period. The same can be said for Colombia, which was particularly pronounced in Cartagena. Many people said “you must visit Cartagena, as it’s old city is stunning.” I found it grotesque, but that’s because I think way too deeply, and couldn’t see past the vulgar hangover of colonialism, which still seemed very much alive today.
Colombia has coasts along the Pacific and Caribbean, is home to the Amazon River, numerous waterfalls, hot springs, and streams. As someone who loves the ability of water to cleanse away any negativity, I relished in every opportunity possible to immerse myself and let go.
I have struggled with my understanding of religion and God. Perhaps, no certainly, man’s appropriation of divinity as a means of exerting power lies fairly central to that struggle. However, there were times in Colombia where I felt a connection to something greater than myself, something comforting and inspiring, something close to my understanding of God. These experiences were always in nature, or in the kindness of someone’s act, or smile.