Latin American Foto Festival sheds light on the connection between memory and the present day

Héctor Guerrero, Volcano Land

Mexico is home to more than 3,000 volcanoes, 14 of which are regularly active. Two of these, the 12,500-meter-high Colima volcano and the 17,800-meter-high Popocatépetl volcano, are located along the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt, a mountainous expanse in the south-central part of the country that stretches more than 600 miles from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico. In recent years, eruptions have forced the evacuation of thousands of people to nearby cities. But local people will not move as they were born in these communities and have lived their entire lives with the volcanoes nearby. Héctor Guerrero has photographically documented the Mexican volcanoes, the dangers they pose, and the diversity of the land and culture that surrounds them. The culmination of these images, titled Volcano Land, not only takes us to tropical beaches, lush forests, and glacial streams, but also captures the poverty and violence that threaten some local populations more than lava or ash.

Tamara Merino, Isolated Soul

Chilean photographer Tamara Merino’s project Isolated Soul evokes a deep emotional state of nostalgia and profound melancholy, known In Portuguese/Brazilian as “saudade.” The term translates as the longing for something that is absent or someone who one loves. The word was became part of the everyday language of the four million African people who were captured and forced into slavery, the very same who today shape the Afro-Brazilian community. This constant feeling of saudade is a poetic way to describe missing one’s homeland. It is the very same propelling sentiment that kept that community alive for so many centuries, during sadness and torture. The feeling was so strong, it marked the identity of complete generations. It has been transmitted almost as if it were genetic, generation after generation, into the present day.

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