Pietro Paolini


Buscando a Bolivar

A personal journey through the new socialist countries in South America.

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From 2004 to 2014 Pietro Paolini (Florence, 1981) traveled through South America to observe and immortalize the social and political change taking place in Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela during the presidencies of Evo Morales, Rafael Correa and Hugo Chavez. He walked a lot, crossed states, met peoples and ethnic groups, tracing his documentary journey equipped with the only means able to build memory, to allow him, through his lens, to welcome, gather and guard what the day, the population and events would offer to his gaze and his testimony. In documenting the landscape and daily life in the countries of the new Latin American socialism, Pietro Paolini grasped the fervent and revolutionary complexity of these territories, highlighting the contradictions of evolving socio-political realities, of peoples ready to start radical changes, fighting for the progress and for the construction of their contemporary identities.

Thanks to the photographic instrument, the artist has captured and described the existential realities of these nations, intercepted life in its making, narrating its concreteness and future uncertainties, building a real visual novel: a story that represents the whole life, in all its historical, social, economic, anthropological and political implications; giving us pure images, without filters, far from Western stereotypes: traces of memory of the change underway, keys to reading Latin American society. "These images are a journey through those countries, in this moment of change of popular consciousness, without knowing what its future will be, but with the profound conviction that it will no longer be possible to go back".

Silvia Salvati –Project manager MADRE Museum, Naples