03 November 2006

Guest: Diego Levy

The world is one. And the world is real. But the reality of people living in this world differ from place to place, depending also on living conditions, education, gender and many other things. I have made it my mission to introduce good photography from Spain and Latin America on The F Blog.
My first invitation is Diego Levy, a young and very talented photographer from Buenos Aires, Argentina. The pictures shown here hit me hard, it was a similar feeling to me like watching the film Amores perros. Diego sent me eight pictures, two from each city; Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Medellin and Mexico City. I decided to publish all of them.
invited by ulf fågelhammar

See more of Diego Levys work here.

The introduction to Levy´s pictures is written by Juan Travnik, Photographer, Buenos Aires; Director, Fotogalería del Teatro San Martín, Buenos Aires: Photography


Just some decades ago, in most of the quarters of Buenos Aires there was a frequent setting to be seen: neighbors talking among them for hours seated in front of their houses. These situations, utterly uncommon today, were typical scenes of summer evenings. However, after the political struggles and state terrorism of the brutal dictatorship of the second half of the ‘70s, there followed
a new phenomenon of crime and street violence of another origin, related to marginal sectors and crime, which has grown fast as from the ‘80s. During the year 2000, Diego Levy started to get involved in these issues, which had not yet played the leading part in the media they would later do. Except for some extraordinary cases, they were covered by most of the newspapers within the
police section, and only the most resonant ones would have a headline coverage.

These first photographs that Levy turned into a personal essay, began to shape the series Sangre. Later, he went on searching similarities and differences in the cities of Rio de Janeiro, Medellín and México DF.

Since he worked without the generally slanted pressures of news editing offices,his straight look and his sharp and forcible frame, did not search clichés or low blows. His images show what is there in fact: bloody scenes of violence, wounded and dead people who may turn up just around any
street corner. Scenes which have now become almost daily for the inhabitants of these cities. They are either their protagonists or witnesses; they may watch them on television or read them in the papers. Such images are many times used unscrupulously, in perfectly calculated doses, to boost
sales or to influence on public opinion and exert pressure on hidden political maneuvers.

The increase in violence and crime has peculiar characteristics in each city and in each country, but it has also common elements which always go in hand with neoliberal economic policies and high levels of corruption, which brought about strong economic concentration, huge inequalities and
a devastating social exclusion. Out of this circuit and away from such interests, Levy introduces the topic in a different discipline, that of visual arts, field in which it is uncommon to see such cruel and touching images. Like the great exponents of suspense novels or films noir, he portrays crime and death that nowadays brutally mark life in the big cities of Latin America.

Buenos Aires 1

Buenos Aires 2

Rio de Janeiro 1

Rio de Janeiro 2

Medellin 1

Medellin 2

Mexico City 1

Mexico City 2


F said...

So strong, can´t find words, think I don´t have to either..

Bravo Ulf!


F said...

Very strong photos! Thinking of our situation in sweden, thats very far from this. Then its good to be reminded that the world is more cruel than we think. Thanks for sharing this on the F-blog!


F said...

I regret I can see here those pictures, I regret there are such a pictures, I am sorry there are reasons to make that kind of pictures. But as long there are reasons, there shall be witness crying outloud what people do to the people, witness as brave as Diego. I wish Diego you may have a chance to make different kind of photography.


chrisw1r said...

Art is fiction.
This is brutal.

I'm kind of out of words.
And happy to be, where I am,

F said...

I have to disagree a bit Christian.
This is art as well. The art of
Kind of interesting question about
"reality" that is emerging here on the blog. Hope to come back to that issue later on.

F said...

The F blog is certainly not the place for the brainwashed. This is refreshingly disturbing, if I may say so. It takes me straight to core of violence with the eyes wide open. It's within the right limits of exploitation, because all the pictures have an important story to tell without being spectacular (perhaps due to the shooting distance and the B&W).
I'm deeply moved and impressed, Diego. Thanks for sharing this with us.
- Abeku

F said...

There is a directness to this I admire deeply. Often I use the lens to distance myself from the reality, produce dreams, visions. This is the direct opposite and I don't think I will ever be prepared or ready to see this, do this, and I hope I never will be...

This is strong and dark, way beyond the reality I live in...and I hope, like Marcin, that you one day not can find these kind of motifs.


Mikael said...

Oh man this is strong and very good to see a photographer from Buenos aires since I´ve been looking for Argetinian photographers.
Have lately looked at a lot of latin photographer and they are very interesting. They have a way of captuering people that appeals me a lot.
Thx for your contribution Diego and U for the work of finding!
Will look more later (sitting with a slow modem in Dalarna right now)


F said...

Very strong documentary photographs you won´t forget, and of course they need to be taken.