The photography exhibition “Miradas desde lo oculto” – Gazes from the dark – is special, not only because of the stories the pictures tell, but because these are also the stories of the photographers, and they are important stories.
Gazes from the Dark invites you into the lives of children and teenagers growing up in impoverished neighbourhoods in Buenos Aires, Argentina through their gazes – in front of and behind the camera. These kids are themselves the photographers and artists, developping their creative capacity under difficult circumstances and in an often hostile reality. Through this project, they show us that art can be made and talked about not only by and in a privileged part of society, and that art makes a difference also in the slums.
The exhibition is organised for the second time in Luxembourg by Sur Factory, a cultural management company aiming to build a bridge between Luxembourg and South American contemporary art and culture, and the Argentinian non-profit organization ph15. ph as in photography, 15 as in the number of one of the many slums in the city of Buenos Aires called Ciudad Oculta. ph15 believes in education through art, and art as a means of social inclusion and social change. All of which are lacking in Ciudad Oculta.
Officially, Ciudad Oculta doesn’t exist. It translates into the Hidden City, from the time when a wall was built around it to hide the profound poverty from the eyes of the world during the World Cup of 1978. The walls are still there, yet invisible. An excluded villa miseria – shantytown of misery – largely neglected by the outside world, it is considered too dangerous for entry. Food and clean drinking water is often hard to find, education, social services and health services inexistent or very poor. The police never enters, leaving the about 100 000 people living on the 5 square kilometres that are Ciudad Oculta to deal with dangers, drugs and crime on an everyday basis. Many of them are children, with the dangerous streets as their only playground.
But some of them have been given a camera, and with that camera they make their dire living conditions a bit less hidden. And that is important.
Gazes from the Dark | until 7 December 2014| Brasserie de Neumünster, 28 rue Münster, Luxembourg/Grund
The Pictures are for sale. 50 % of the benefits go to the young photographers, 50 % to ph15.