ENSAIOS PRÉ-SELECIONADOS PEF/2016

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JORGE LÓPEZ MUÑOZ

Boys from El Clot (2013-2016) These are photos about gender inside a gypsy community, placed in the context of urban slums, where a youthful masculinity reveals the paradox of male vitality trying in vain to find an outlet under social degradation and exclusion, so characteristic of the modern urban agglomerations. El Clot neighborhood has virtually disappeared, with the only remains left standing on the dockworkers' block. Its inhabitants are invisible, mostly gypsy families who have occupied the abandoned apartments in the building. Gypsies originated in Northern India and arrived in Mid-West Asia, then Europe, around 1,000 years ago. They belong to Spain's largest ethnic minority, a minority that is very heavily socially stereotyped and according

to various surveys, also the group most harshly rejected by mainstream society. This work is a reflection, a way to explore the world and understand it. I am interested in the individual, their face and architectural environment. I have always worked with human beings, with people as photographic object, real people and their real situations, trying to understand them and developing relationships with my subjects over time. I seek an unbreakable but intimate portrait, direct but sensitive, objectively powerful but full of personal emotion, the product of commitment to people and their environment, trying to represent both their strength and vulnerability. Although El Clot is a slum I have not encountered either rejection or pain. They are, in short, impoverished but also happy people, even openly proud. I want to show how they live, trying to turn this work into an affirmation of the dignity and humanity that is in all people, and trying to capture in pictures the wild vitality and hope of this community. Present in the background there are, however, more ambitious objectives: methodically documenting all aspects of gypsy culture, its territory

and its people, becoming a work about their identity.