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Cómo convertir Instagram en un arma para el cambio social



La mejor fotografía documental se abre paso entre tus fotos de comida

Luis M. Rodríguez

29 Septiembre 2014 11:14

Según la cultura de Instagram, los pies son el mejor reflejo del alma; la comida recién emplatada, el momento más significativo y fotografiable del día; y las flores (a kilos), la nueva manera de mostrarle al mundo que tu vida es mucho mejor que la suya. Y si no lo es, que al menos lo parezca.  

Cuando colgamos una foto en la red de los filtros mágicos lo único que solemos esperar a cambio es un poco de aceptación, un puñado de likes que nos hagan sentir mejor. Otros, sin embargo, ven en Instagram una vía para mostrar realidades difíciles que a menudo quedan escondidas, silenciadas. Situaciones que necesitan ser conocidas, porque sólo desde su conocimiento se puede aspirar a su transformación. Esa es la idea de partida de Open Society Foundations, una organización que promueve el respecto a los derechos humanos, a las minorías y a la diversidad de opiniones, apostando por democracias tolerantes en las que la sociedad civil ayude a mantener a los gobiernos a raya. Y lo hace, también, a través de Instagram.

Open Society Foundations puso en marcha su cuenta a principios del pasado mes de mayo con la intención de usar la fotografía para arrojar luz sobre asuntos relacionados con los derechos humanos y la justicia social. Cada semana, el feed queda en manos de un fotógrafo distinto para que éste pueda presentar su trabajo documental en torno a un asunto concreto. La única condición que se le impone al fotógrafo es que él mismo se ocupe de dar contexto a sus imágenes con descripciones breves que ayuden a entender la realidad que está reflejando.

Hasta el momento hemos visto proyectos sobre la situación en Ferguson, sobre la población romaní, la comunidad homosexual sudafricana, las condiciones de trabajo en el sector de la construcción en China o los problemas que se derivan de la inmigración ilegal en la frontera entre Estados Unidos y México. Imágenes potentes que buscan iniciar una conversación. Porque detrás de estas fotos sí hay una historia relevante que merece ser conocida. No como en tu plato de comida.

“Ferguson - Missouri I met Robert Clark on the main drag of W. Florissant. He was standing next to Philadelphia Police Captain Ray Lewis and we started a small conversation. I've been interested in the motivations and thoughts of the various people who took part in the protests. There has been much said and written about 'outside agitators'. People came from the 'outside' to voice their opinions and protest. Sometimes this jived smoothly with the local community and at other times it didn't. But to simply label people 'outside agitators' seemed to me simply another attempt at social control by those who had a vested interest in silencing real and honest dissent. Robert said 'I think they're gonna let that guy go and all hell's gonna break loose...My hope is to at least change the policing in America. We are stuck in 1964. If we can just make it nicer and more helpful and have more emphasis on protecting and serving it will be better.' Clark has had negative interactions with the police and also has seen kids as young as 13 put in jail. I was impressed by his strength and the sincere willingness to stand up for what he believes in”. Foto de Jon Lowestein.

“Ferguson - Missouri ‘Police Chief Jackson All We Want is the Truth’ Retired Philadelphia Police Chief Ray Lewis served 24 years as a police officer in his the City of Brotherly Love. He came to Ferguson, Missouri to protest and show his support for the Brown family as they search for justice in this complex situation. Lewis related his own experience of being a police officer and said that ‘In one year I had changed. My sensitivity had been lost. I hit people and even went to prison to apologize to the victim. Then 1 week later, I did it again.’ He sought out counseling but said that this was frowned upon by the other police officers in the force. He has seen a lot. ‘I went out and picked up a man’s head from the train tracks. I’ve seen suicides.’ He believes that the Ferguson Police Department is systematically covering up the real story and that they are trying to protect police officer Darren Wilson. He was the only former police officer who I saw in Ferguson who took a stand in favor of justice for Michael Brown”.Foto de Jon Lowestein.

“St. Louis - Missouri Members of the Nation of Islam lock arms in order to usher in the family and friends to the Friendly Temple Baptist Church for the Michael Brown Jr. Funeral. Michael Brown was killed by Ferguson, Missouri police office Darren Wilson on August 9, 2014”. Foto de Jon Lowestein.

“On the train from Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, to Moscow, a woman sends a message to her sister, whom she left her five-year-old son with. More than 10 million people from Central Asia migrate to Russia every year in search of work. The lives of millions of families depend on their remittances. Interdependence between Russia and Central Asia is increasing year by year”. Foto de Elyor Nematov.

“On the way to Keppel Elementary school in Glendale. Over the past decade, the Glendale public school system has adapted to the influx of new residents from different cultural backgrounds. Certain campuses offer alternative language immersion in Spanish, Korean, German, Japanese as well as Armenian. A typical elementary classroom is a third to sometimes half Armenian, including some from mixed marriages”. Foto de Ara Oshagan.

“Army veteran David Roller packs his bags after spending the night in a motel on his cross country road trip. Traversing the nation on state roads and backwoods short cuts he says he enjoys spending time in all the little towns he passes through, determined to find "the best country fried steak breakfast". He expresses a desire to live in such a community built on solidarity and familiarity but laments the fact that a town so small and secluded could never offer enough job opportunities to maintain his livelihood”. Foto de Jared Moossy.

“Sebabatso "Bantu" Mafisa (20). Bantu is currently unemployed. She considers herself a Feminist and an Activist. She lives in Thokoza, East of Johannesburg. Dudu Zozo, a lesbian, was brutally murdered in Thokoza in 2013. "As a queer woman it's not safe here. Especially late at night. If we go to a party we go as a group. That way we can watch each other's backs. Sometimes we hire special transport and we even keep a list so we know if anyone is missing. Mostly we just party close to home”. Foto de James Oatway.

“South Side - Washington Heights 'Looking to home base' at Jackie Robinson Park in the Washington Heights. Community is built from both within and without and the world we make for our children will determine where the future holds for our world. This group was playing a softball game at the park as part of a 'Back to School picnic' hosted by the Solid Rock Gospel Church. Pastor Paxton Collins lives in the neighborhood with has family and says it's a 'good neighborhood to live in and raise a family'”. Foto de Jon Lowestein.

“A young migrant wishing his identity be concealed for fear of reprisal stands for a portrait in Reynosa, Mexico. His former girlfriend and young son were granted asylum in the US earlier this year. He witnessed three friends be murdered during the journey to Reynosa and has used all of his money getting to this point. His father died in Reynosa trying to make the same trip north years ago. Now, knowing the dangers that await him in south Texas if he were to cross alone he stands defiantly in the footprints of his father with his son on his mind”. Foto de Brandon Thibodeaux.

“An elder female migrant from Honduras walks across the grounds of the Senda de Vida migrant house in Reynosa, Mexico. The layover house founder, Hector Silva, estimates that the facility has serviced as many as 9000 migrants this year alone”. Foto de Brandon Thibodeaux.

“Lori E. Baker, Ph.D., a forensic anthropologist with Baylor University in Waco, TX, examines the skull from what is assumed to be the skeletal remains of an unidentified migrant found on a ranch in Brooks County, TX. Dr. Baker is the Founder and Executive Director of the International Consortium for Forensic Identification, Reuniting Families Project”. Foto de Brandon Thibodeaux.

“Brooks County, located roughly 70 miles north of the US border with Mexico. The remains of over 250 migrants have been found in its 944 square miles of parched ranch land since 2012. This photograph is of one of the few remaining 'unknown' markers left in the county cemetery in Falfurrias after forensic anthropologists exhumed the graves in an effort to identify immigrants and reunite them with their families”. Foto de Brandon Thibodeaux.

“A car going down the street in Okmeydani, an Alevi neighborhood, with a big husky dog sitting in front”. Foto de Nikos Pilos.

“A man shoots in the air with his pistol to celebrate an Alevi wedding”. Foto de Nikos Pilos.

“'We're Kurdish-Alevi And we're proud', said a man in a Kurdish dialect. The old couple is sitting inside it's living room. Like this couple, many Alevis are poor farmers. Behind them is a picture of the 12 Imams, which the Alevi worship. Notice how there's no painting for the the 12th Imam that's why he's been blurred out”. Foto de Nikos Pilos.

“Guatemala | Karen España prepares for the Señorita Antigua competition. One of the categories of the beauty pageant highlights traditional dance and dress. There are large socio-economic and gender inequalities in literacy here. Thirty one percent of Guatemala’s 12 million people are illiterate reaching as high as 60% among indigenous populations”. Foto de Andrea Bruce.

“Construction worker He Tiejun, from Hunan province, searches for a mobile phone signal -- notoriously bad in the claustrophobic and run-down urban village where he lives with four other workers from his hometown while in Guangzhou for three months. He bought this secondhand Chinese-made smartphone for 120 yuan at a neighbourhood store just a few days ago and has been thrilled with it, keeping it wrapped in a plastic bag to prevent his sweat from ruining it as he works hauling and laying electric cables at a posh new shopping mall in downtown Guangzhou. He uses it to call home to chat with his family and lays in bed watching Chinese movies on it, downloaded at a local Internet bar”. Foto de Sim Chiyin.

“At night, a migrant worker gets a haircut at a street-side barber, a familiar face in the neighbourhood”. Foto de Sim Chiyin.

“I took the 15 minute walk the Hunanese workers I had dinner with last night do daily from the urban village to get to work at the site of a giant shopping mall. Workers were all over the gargantuan metal structure under the scorching sun. The massive complex, perhaps taking up an area as large as two football fields, looks like a cross between a space ship and Beijing’s famed Bird’s Nest Olympic stadium. It is sandwiched by the Marriott Hotel – the gleaming sliver building in the background in this picture – and Oakwood high-end serviced apartments, and a luxury shopping mall”. Foto de Sim Chiyin.

“Construction worker Dai Jiuqing, 57, and his mother Huang Shulan, 77, live in this three-room house in this urban village in downtown Guangzhou. Originally from Sichuan province, Mr Dai has been in Guangzhou since 2008, building the subway line beneath the city’s central business district. He now works eight hours a day building one of Guangzhou’s tallest buildings, earning 4,500 yuan a month. Up till last year, he lived on the worksite, sharing a room with 6 or 7 other men, sleeping on bunk beds. “It’s more comfortable here; at least it’s not noisy and messy.” The apartment in one of the urban village’s narrow alleys is damp and doesn’t get much light. His mother looks at it positively, saying “at least there’s no dust that blows up from the ground.” She collects recyclable trash to make some pocket money for herself. She sells what she finds in the neighbourhood to a recycling station. For every 500 g of plastic bottles, she gets 1.80 yuan; for 500 g of cardboard and paper, 30 cents; and for 500g of cans, 30 cents. A bachelor and the eldest of 6 children, Mr Dai says: “For workers like us, where else can we afford to live but in places like here?”. Foto de Sim Chiyin.

“Shaggy and friends, en route to the Bronx Pride festival and health care fair, held at Crotona Park. Even though the Bronx has a substantial LGBTQ community, the Bronx Pride festival is a relatively new event, compared to those held in New York City's other boroughs”. Foto de Samantha Box.

“Since the 1920’s, the House Ballroom scene has been an important component of Black and Latino LGBTQ life. The scene based on “houses”, a collective of individuals organized in a chosen family structure. Houses compete against each other at ballroom functions; these gatherings are spaces of competition, celebration and validation that counter and critique the societal homophobia, transphobia, classism and racism directed at this community. The Kiki Ballroom scene, an offshoot of the House Ballroom scene, began in 2002, as a collaboration between LGBTQ young adults, and the social service non-profits, such as Gay Men’s Health Crisis and the Hetrick-Martin Institute, that work with LGBTQ young people. The Kiki Scene functions similarly to the House Ballroom scene, the difference lying in the age of its participants and the inclusion of HIV prevention messaging, targeted towards these young adults, who are the locus of new HIV infections in America. Shown here: A vogue battle during an open-to-all practice at Grand Street Settlement, an non-profit located in Lower Manhattan”. Foto de Samantha Box.

“Suspect in the police station cell, accused of stealing a hand set, Explain to the lawyer acting as the duty solicitor what happened. With the help of the solicitors, suspects have been spending a maximum of 24 hours in detention for petty crime”. Foto de Benedicte Kurzen.

“Anti-riot police, ready to take action against protestors that took over the streets surounding the Maracana stadium during the Colombia vs Uruguay game, to protest against fifa and the public spending of the world cup in Brazil”. Foto de João Pina.

“A resident of the metro favela just 300 meters from the maracana stadium in #riodejaneiro walks past the ruble from demolished houses that the city government tore down to build a parking lot for #worldcup2014”. Foto de João Pina.

“Raul’s water for drinking, bathing and cooking comes from this 55-gallon drum”. Foto de Matt Black.

“Fear of eviction and a rash of thefts in the area have increased Sinamon and Aaron's vigilance. They watch as an unidentified man approaches their encampment on the outskirts of Fresno”. Foto de Matt Black.

“Man with guitar plays the song entertaining policemen. Police guards the building of the National State University during the elections in the center of Kharkiv, Ukraine”. Foto de Arthur Bondar.