In the region of Santa Marta in Sierra Nevada, northern of Colombia, the “Black Line” is the limit of the ancestral territory of 4 indigenous peoples: Arhuaco, Kankuamo, Kogi, Wiwa. All of them have the same mission and vision. All of them work to recover the lands within these limits, which are sacred places important for humanity as a whole. These are points of spiritual communication that work in a universal network without borders. As indigenous peoples, their responsibility is to take care of the human beings and of the whole world.
From their sacred territories these populations work trying to harmonize and balance the natural phenomena and the phenomena created by man, but over the centuries the indigenous peoples have been forced to abandon part of their land because of Western occupation. The phenomenon is still repeated now in today’s key. The depredation of the sacred territories continues in the name of progress without limits and the ancient knowledge of these people, traditionally transmitted only verbally, is slowly getting lost in the thick plot of globalization and cultural flattening.
For some it’s considered an unfortunate and irreversible destiny, for every place on the earth touched by the blind rush of the global market, for others this is the normal effect of the human evolution.The photographs of Sri Kolari that you can see now exhibited are part of an ongoing project started in 2016, when together with his partner of that time, who was interested in the traditional knowledge of these populations, they were allowed to live with an Arhuaco family for only three days.
Anyone who has found himself on the lucky occasion of being able to approach some members of some indigenous people knows, how difficult it is to be able to enter into a trustful contact with them.
The photographs you see here were taken on the last day.
The theme of trust is an integral part of Sri Kolari’s work and poetics as a photographer. His need to know and to enter in a space of intimacy and total trust with the subject of his work, is certainly the strong point of his beautiful shots to the exploited, the marginalized and who suffer of mental illness. His is a social and political photography, often with strong shades, but at the same time it is also photography far from pietism and from the voyeurism towards the disadvantaged. His work brings the spectator closer to the subject for the recognition of his qualities and not for morbidity. Sri’s photography is capable of revealing the beauty and dignity of each of its protagonists. That beauty and that dignity that are deeply part of every living being on earth.