Juan Orrantia

Photographer
   
Why would...
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
Nationality: Colombian
Biography: Juan Orrantia makes photographic works concerned with questions of representation, perception and history. Embracing photography’s uncertainty and contingency, through color, the manipulation of archival images or the photobook form,... MORE
Public Story
Why would...
Copyright Juan Orrantia 2022
Updated Mar 2020
Topics anticolonialism, Civil Wars, Dictatorship, Documentary, Freedom, Hope, Landscape, memory, Panafricanism, Photography, Portraiture, Spotlight, Violence


In 1986 Chris Marker released his famous film Sans Soleil (Sunless). Partly based in Guinea-Bissau, this film posed questions about history, memory and the passing of time. Marker saw the small African country as a pole of survival, a site of liberation where the anticolonial leader Amilcar Cabral led a revolution that resulted in the first independence of Portuguese colonialism in Africa. At that point, it was a site of hope, sharing anticolonial solidarity strategies with places like Cuba and Brasil. But things didn't turn out that way. Cabral was assassinated and a series of betrayals began. Today the country is considered a failed state characterized by political volatility, poverty and corruption, often labeled the "first narco state" due to its role as a bridge in the distribution of South American cocaine to Europe. I travelled to Cabral's hometown in search of his traces and soon found myself wandering among the debris of colonial legacies, loose presences of Cold War solidarities, greed, and murky realities. So I focused on a space of imagination to speak to a more complex unfolding of history, to the way dreams have settled under the passing of time. Ultimately, I wanted to follow the question asked by Marker about Guinea- Bissau: "Why would so small a country, and one so poor, interest the world?

Medium format film, low quality film, and appropriated images(Portuguese Fascist propaganda films)


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A machete pelao (VerdeRojo)

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Residues

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Untitled

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Like Stains of Red Dirt--Book

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Like Stains of Red Dirt--Book

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Is this Tomorrow (Fotofria)

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Normalcy

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There was heat that smelled of bread and dead fish

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While I was thinking about sex

Juan Orrantia / Latin America, Colombia, Bogota
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Escapees

Juan Orrantia
Why would... by Juan Orrantia
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