Alirandu
2013-2014 ________________________________________________________



Quelque part en Bolivie, là où dans une collision nuageuse la cordillère des Andes rencontre la forêt amazonienne, vit une petite communauté de descendants d'esclaves africains, ceux qui ont été arrachés de force à leur terre il y a plusieurs centaines d'années.

Dans le langage afro-bolivien, le mot alirandu s'utilise lorsqu'un tubercule ou une graine, arraché de terre depuis un certain temps, se remet à germer, voit ses racines repousser.

A la question de la représentation d'un peuple à laquelle j'ai été confrontée lors de la réalisation de ce travail, je réponds en présentant une pluralité de regards sur Tocaña, un village afro-bolivien. Des photographies que j'y ai réalisées, d'autres qui ont été prises par les habitants de Tocaña avec des appareils jetables que je leur ai confiés, et des images d'archives que j'ai pu récupérer sur place sont présentées comme des fragments de représentation sur un même lieu et un même peuple. Je souhaite ainsi proposer une représentation partielle, et rappeler l'impossibilité de saisir et définir visuellement un lieu ou un peuple par la photographie.


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Photographies, dimensions variables. Pages de livre dévorées par des insectes.


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The series Alirandu was shot in Bolivia, in a very special place where the Amazon forest merges with the Andes mountains. This meeting point between two very different climatic zones, has created a region characterized by an ever-changing cloudy landscape. This unique location is home to a small community descended from the African slaves that were forcefully torn away from their lands, and brought to the Americas hundreds of years ago. The Afro-Bolivians have long been a forgotten people, absent from contemporary Bolivian society.

Wishing to know more about a people whose identity seemed so hard to define, I decided to spend a few weeks in Tocaña, a small Afro-bolivian village. Once there, I not only realized how difficult it would be to define their identity, but I began wondering whether a definition was indeed at all necessary.

This series combines pictures I took, but also pictures that the Afro-Bolivians themselves shot with disposable cameras, and some archive photographs of their ancestors. These three different layers of perception (that could actually be more than three) on the same village and people are an attempt to produce a polyphonic portrait of a territory and its unhabitants. It is at the same time a try to show how identity has much to do with perception and how subjective and constantly moving it is.

In the Afro-Bolivian language, the word alirandu is used when a tuber or a seed that have been uprooted for a while starts to sprout again and when new roots grow.


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Photographs, Pages from a book eaten by termites


Em algum lugar na Bolívia, lá onde ocorre o céu coberto de nuvens da cordilheira dos Andes colide com a Floresta Amazônica, vive uma pequena comunidade de escravos africanos, aqueles mesmos que foram arrancados à força de suas terras há centenas de anos.

Este trabalho propõe uma pluralidade de olhares sobre uma vila afro-boliviana, misturando fotografias realizadas por mim no local, outras tiradas pelos próprios moradores com máquinas descartáveis que dei a eles, e imagens de arquivo que consegui recuperar lá mesmo. Trata-se de uma multiplicidade de percepções sobre uma identidade composta de mestiçagens, uma identidade percebida a partir de olhares e estratos históricos que são diferentes, esquivos, condenados à indefinição.

Na linguagem afro-boliviana, a palavra alirandu é utilizada quando uma semente ou tubérculo, tendo sido arrancados da terra depois de certo tempo, voltam a germinar e veem suas raízes brotando novamente.


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Fotografias, dimensões variáveis. Páginas de livro devoradas por insetos.

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