EDITORIAL BY Alexandra Meleán Anzoleaga
ISO, shutter speed, and F/STOP.
REWIND. “Shoot in manual,” says Michael Dunn, Bolivian Express Head of Photography.
From the Sin Motivo Photography studio in downtown Sopocachi, you borrow Sara Juana, a Canon Rebel XTI, named after a pistol- carrying, cartoon horse, emphasizing her shooting capacity. Through a lens, you observe photogenic La Paz, curiously looking for the decisive moment coined by Henri Cartier-Bresson, father of photojournalism. You walk from Avenida 20 de Octubre to Calle Jaen, climbing a cobblestone street at a 45 degree angle. Breathlessly, you admire el Illimani. Hooked, you buy your first DSLR from Calle Eloy Salmón, an electronic goods street market: the paceño amazon.com. When the lens cracks, you are gifted a vintage 1960's Asahi Pentax Spotmatic from the camera repairman on Av. 20 de Octubre. After a few hours in the darkroom, you develop two black and white Kodak TRI-X 400 films and make contact sheets. You frown at an overexposed print left in the developer too longer and mutter, “this is part of the process,” before you do it again.
In this issue, the Bolivian Express looks beyond the tacky watermarks to discover Bolivian professional photographer Juan Estellano developing film and making prints in L’obscurita from the perspective of Bolivian journalist Alex Ayala. Bolivian Express photojournalist intern Vicky Roberts explores the contrast between diverse Bolivian landscapes in her first photo essay. Bolivian journalist Adriana Murillo investigates the history of photography in Bolivia, from analog to digital, finding the value of photographic archives. Bolivian professional photographer Alejandro Loayza critically examines the sustainability of Bolivian city landscapes during an age of visual contamination. Bolivian professional filmmaking-photography collective, Sin Motivo, shares how a collaborative space for creative audiovisual artists and photographers was formed. Bolivian Express photojournalist intern Sophia Vahdati interviews professional Bolivian photographer Alvaro Gumucio Li, aka ‘Gumo’. Photojournalist Johnathon Mccarthy documents the rural, artisan weaving women of Huarancani. Featured photo essays include the work of professional Bolivian photographers Michael Dunn and Carlos Sanchez Navas.
Inevitably, any photo issue will invariably only be able to cover a limited selection of what it means to be a photographer in Bolivia. So of course, this will have to be the first of several future editions exploring this neverending world of pixels, celluloid, silver nitrate, shutters and broken lenses.
ARTICLES FROM THIS ISSUE
A PEOPLE WITHOUT MEMORY IS A PEOPLE WITHOUT HISTORY
24 Dec, 2014 | Adriana Murillo
‘Bolivia has gone through incredible eras: the War of The Pacific, the Chaco War, and many other dramatic periods. Incredible photographs have been taken of all of these times,’ says Bolivian photogra...
THE DARK ROOM
24 Dec, 2014 | Alex Ayala Ugarte
Photo: Juan Gabriel Estellano The dark room where Juan Gabriel Estellano manually develops some of his photos is much more than a humid and stagnant place where someone could turn out the lights...
24 Dec, 2014 | Sophia Vahdati
In 2006, Michael Dunn had left Bolivia and was studying business in New York where he enrolled in a photography course. His life then changed its course as he quit his business career to pursue photo...
24 Dec, 2014 | Jonathan Mccarthy
The women from Huancarani have to traverse four hours of mountain to get to Independencia, the nearest town, where you still can't get hold of a refrigerated soft drink. They don't have a Facebook acc...
24 Dec, 2014 | Manuel Seoane and Samuel Rendon
Photo: Juan Manuel Lobaton , courtesy of SINMOTIVO PHOTOGRAPHERS www.sonmotivo.com Like most good stories, this project began on a night out. Initially, the objective was to share one ph...
24 Dec, 2014 | Vicky Roberts
The contrast between movement and stillness When Bolivia comes to life, it sparkles… For myself and many, one of the most fascinating things about Bolivia is the juxtaposition of tremendous natura...