“No one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails. A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones.” - Nelson Mandela
In my teaching project, I use the photographic tools as a mean for social reintegration and creative expression of the marginalized groups such as the convicted in the Venezuelan prisons. Where I have been teaching independently for the past two years. All based in a teaching workshop about photography history and photographic techniques during 5 days, ending with practical exercises of compositions taken with disposable cameras.
The title of this exhibition is taken from the Venezuelan slang used by prisoners in the Venezuelan penitentiary centers. "From the Lleca to the Cohue" means "From the street to the hole". The exhibition wants to show the results of the educational program I have been developing for over two years in five prisons in the country without any support from the Venezuelan government. My goal is to use photography as an instrument at the service of the processes of humanization within the Venezuelan penitentiary system. The proposal is to use the photographic way of expression to enhance the quality of life of the "deprived of their liberty”. For me, this practice is a way of self-expression release, social transformation, and labor insertion.
The participatory and pluralistic character of the project stimulates the observation and investigation of behaviors of those inmates facing the photographic fact. Photography, in this context, becomes an element for visual communication and expression of the symbolic reality of subjects.