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Flowers, undocumented workers, identity searching and insights into the Columbian society

来源:Loving Sister   更新:2019-10-29 17:41:30   作者:Yafang Shi (施雅芳)
Flowers, undocumented workers, identity searching and insights into the Columbian society

 

 

 

 

“Say it with Flowers”    Photography by Luis Mora 

 

Toronto photographer Luis Mora went to his birthplace to search for his identity in Columbia. Instead, he came back with a body of photography of flowers and the “runners”, the workers who are hired by farmers to move products around, at a market in Bogota, the capital of Columbia.

 

Mora was 12 years old when he and his parents left Columbia and emigrated in 2000. The family finally settled in Toronto. Mora went back to Columbia for the first time in 2013.  Since then, he has taken 6 journeys traversing between Toronto and Bogota. During four and half years, he has photographed flowers and workers at Paloquemao, a traditional food, goods, and flower market in Bogota. 

 

Mora's work is currently shown at the photography exhibition “Say it with Flowers” at CONTACT Gallery, in Toronto.

“Say it with Flowers” is a 2019 honourable mention of the annual Edward Burtynsky Photobook Grant.

Here, Luis Mora shares his photography project, his journeys to his birthplace and the insights into the Columbian society he has gained through the project. 

 

Why did you decide to photograph flowers at Paloquemao?


I was born and raised in Columbia in South America. Columbia at the moment is the second biggest exporter of flowers in the world. I left Columbia when I was 12 years old. Based on this fact, I started to find out about Columbia and decided to go back to my country and reconnected with my country, revisited my country. I started the project based on that.

 

 

“Say it with Flowers”    Photography by Luis Mora

Why did you decide to photograph the “runners”, the workers at the market?

 

All the workers in the black and white portraits of the project are actually Venezuelan immigrants moving to Columbia because the government climate (political environment) happening in Venezuela. Over 2 million of Venezuelans will be in Columbia at the end of the year. A lot of these undocumented workers ended up in the market. 

 

I decided to shine a little light on them. I love them. They work at the market. I wanted them to be part of the project too as the workers, as the people who work in the market. 

 

I noticed that all of them are males.

 

Females work inside of the market with fruits and meats. Men work with flowers. 

 

Have you found your identity through this project?

 

The beginning of the project was to ask myself questions like if I am a Columbian anymore and if I am a real Columbian because I left Columbia when I was 12 years. So I wanted to go back to Columbia to answer these questions. To be honest, I do not think that I ended up answering these questions but I came back with this body of work. It was me about my curiosity where I am from.

 

 

“Say it with Flowers”    Photography by Luis Mora

 

What did you find through the project?

 

I found many things. I found that I come from a country that people believe more in religions than their own government. I found out flowers are very similar to humans. The new generation of the kids born and raised in Columbia know that there is something better out there. It is very similar to how flowers are cultivated and grown in Columbia but shipped somewhere else. They get something better outside. I want to show them through the flowers. 

 

How would you like to describe the style of your photography of this project?

 

A lot of people helped describe it as social documentary photography. At the moment I do not want to put a label on it. I just went to make photography of the market. I do not know if I could put a label of genre on the images at the moment. 

 

 

“Say it with Flowers”    Photography by Luis Mora

 

What would you like the viewers to take away from viewing your project?

 

Hopefully the project will inspire people to go back to where they are from to ask those questions like where I am from. Sometimes I think that to know where to go, you have to go back a little bit. Take a few steps back to go ahead. If a viewer looks at the body of work, I hope it will make them curious about where they are from. Hopefully they will go back and see. It could be a place, a country, or a person. 


Exhibition Information 

 

Luis Mora

Say it with Flowers


October 17–30


CONTACT Gallery

80 Spadina Ave Ste 205 


Hours:

Tue–Fri 11am–5pm

Sat 11am–4pm

 

 

  

 

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