joana toro

Photographer and educator—Working in issues of immigration identity and social justice
  
Emeralds
Location: Colombia
Nationality: Colombian
Biography: Joana Toro Colombian is a self-taught photographer based in both New York City and Bogota, Colombia.  Her work explores issues of immigration, human rights and identity and was featured on The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, World Press... read on
Public Story
Emeralds
Copyright joana toro 2021
Updated 04/21/16
Location Colombia

Colombia produces 55% of the world's emerald market. These prized gems, considered the best in the world, have been the source of intrigue and danger since long before the arrival of the Spanish Conquerors. According to the pre-Colombian tribe of the Muzos, emeralds were born of love, greed, and revenge. In modern times, the emeralds of Colombia continue to inspire stories of romance, greed, and violence. 

The “Green War” of the 1980s, in which the dead emerald zar Victor Carranza fought off the forces of Pablo Escobar who desired the emerald business for himself, claimed an estimated 25,000 lives. This work explore the relationship between violence and fascination for these prized gems.



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