03 November 2006
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.