Returning to Venezuela while everyone is running away disorients the spirit. Since I left my country in September of 2017, 2.3 million people have migrated elsewhere propelled by their survival instinct. The ongoing project Homecoming speaks about the terrors that have so violently pushed Venezuelans towards the frontiers and reflects about those who remain struggling to preserve their dignity in these very dark times. It highlights the moments that find a way to remind us of the grace and promise that could outlast the all-around crisis.
The most extreme changes that occurred during my year of absence crawl under the surface. This project plays with the notions of proximity and collective psyche: it is the inevitable result of my encounter with a radically different reality. I have been traveling to the rural areas to meet people in the most extreme living conditions, and I have been visiting family and friends in Caracas while trying to recognize the city I grew up in. Seeing everything up close, through digital photographs and diptychs, is a way of confronting and understanding the decline. Hearing the voices of the ones who are leaving the country accompanied by video portraits proves how stuck they felt in Venezuela and how slowly time passed for them.
But everything's not lost. Beyond the images of malnourished children and bloody violence that are already associated with this country, there is daily life and moments of quiet reflection that permit Venezuelans to continue living this continued dispute between corruptness and natural splendor. This strange contradiction is what Homecoming is about.