Jose Cabezas

History Dancers
Location: El Salvador
Nationality: USA
Biography: Jose Cabezas. Los Angeles California, 1971 I studied journalism at the “Jose Simeon Cañas” Central American University in San Salvador, El Salvador and graduated from the Hallmark Institute of Photography in Turners Falls,... MORE
Public Story
History Dancers
Copyright Jose Cabezas 2023
Date of Work Jul 2009 - Ongoing
Updated Nov 2019
Location El Salvador
Topics Arts, Black and White, Christianity, Documentary, Editorial, Essays, Historical, Hope, Latin America, Photography, Photojournalism, Portraiture
El Salvador is known as one of the most violent countries in the world. Since working as a photographer, I have covered issues related to violence: gangs, homicides, police brutality, violations of women's rights, disappearances and forced migration. It seems that El Salvador is a cruel and inhospitable country, in reality it is, although many of us decided to live a normal life beyond the tragedy that surrounds our lives, as a kind of rebellion against violence.
In more than 10 years that I have worked as a photographer in news agencies, I have experienced the frustration of not being able to publish different topics beyond violence, so I decided to undertake some personal projects to be able to fulfill the personal mission of giving dignity to all those people who resist violence, those people who have found in their culture and identity the way to keep morale high.
Following this idea, I decided to document the Dance of the Historians, a dance that the natives adopted from the Spanish conquerors more than 300 years ago and that became one of the most deeply rooted cultural expressions in the identity of Salvadorans. The dance, which is like a small theater, tells the adventures of Christian warriors during the reconquest of Spain and the crusades in the Holy Land during the Middle Ages. Historians tell a story through their dialogues and dance to the rhythm of the whistle and the drum.
I have been working on this topic for 10 years and I decided to go back from my digital cameras and work in medium format film to be able to have something different from what I do every day as a photographer. I am currently working on an edition to convert this project into a book that can tell a different reality from El Salvador.

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