Portraits in the Yungas’ market. / La Paz, Bolivia
This series of photographs find reference in the image “the Giant of Paruro”, by the Peruvian photographer Martin Chambi. Chambi’s images, taken around 1925, became an iconographic image of the Andes region, as Chambi documented the social fabric while acting as a social commentator.
The Yungas’ market, in La Paz, Bolivia, has become the place for day laborers to wait for patrons. They stand at the edge of the street. Placed on the floor next to each one is a bag with a label briefly describing the type of labor that they perform: plumber, electrician, carpenter, etc… For this series I collaborated with Mr. Apolinar Escobar, a street photographer, who is one of the last in the city of La Paz to take photos using a portable processing of paper negatives* using a German Tessar lens. For this series we created an improvised studio in a parking lot and we asked the day laborers to pose for the camera in our ‘studio'.
* Using photographic printing paper the photographer would expose a sheet of paper for the negative, develop, stop, and fix it inside the camera, then put a copy stand on the camera and photograph the negative (to obtain a positive), develop, stop, and fix, then wash the final print in a can of water attached to his tripod. The camera was advertised as “One Minute Photo Postcards”.