On board a VW van named Primavera, I travelled and photographed through Colombia and Ecuador with my father. Roots is the resulting series of my returning to South America in an approach to the actual human person of my father and the mother-force of the land and people explored in the journey.
My father’s spiritual and therapeutic search into pre-columbian shamanic practices mirrored my calling to honor and learn from the indigenous and land-working people, and create visual material shareable to my context. Under the circumstances of ecological short-sightedness expressed through the exploitation of resources in the regions, as well as the socio-historical ongoing trauma of race dominance and cultural eradication, the call to inquire on the world-views and every day attitudes of the peoples of the regions was relevant and spiritually inescapable for me. As an affluent cosmopolitan, with an agenda which included using photographic machinery to make portrayals of people and their environments, I had to make a pivot in the commonalities between my subjects and myself.
My Colombian upbringing, of Western-indigenous-afro syncretism resulting from generations of crisis and harmony between powers, religions, cultures, and languages, puts me in orbit with the dramas and characters of the regions. I summoned such commonalities through immersive participation in the every day activities of my hosts and entering with them into the shared experience of story-telling, humor, play, work, and song.
Navigating the terrains and challenges of the road trip, entering into the emotional choreography of daughter-father relationships, and approaching subjects with ethical standing and artistic integrity are all vines of the one weaving plant resulting in Roots.