caminantes – the venezuelan exodus
3 February 2022 - 26 February 2022
In February, Bradwolff Projects kicks off the year with a solo exhibition by Felipe Jácome. The work Caminantes – The Venezuelan Exodus came into being after his travels through South America. During this time, he documented thousands of Venezuelan migrants passing through South America every day in search of a better life. Jácome was recording the migrants’ arrival when he saw a little girl playing with a 100 Bolívar banknote folded into a heart shape. This piece of origami provided a clue to understand the cause and extent of the crisis: money in Venezuela is worth nothing and people can no longer survive.
This served as the starting point for Jácome’s Caminantes – The Venezuelan Exodus, whichsaw him copying the images he shot in Venezuela onto defunct bolívar banknotes. He used a silver-gelatin process, whereby the light-sensitive emulsion attaches the images of the migrants to the banknotes; the symbol, cause and effect of the crisis.
Jácome’s images intermingled with the faces of past leaders on the banknotes – such as Bolivar, Miranda and Guicaipuro – depict a dystopian future. Leaders who once proudly supported the wealth and success of Venezuela are now observing a generation driven from their land by hunger and hopelessness. Moreover, the flora and fauna on the back of the notes point to a lush motherland abandoned by its people. Jácome’s images are exemplary for the crisis in South America, but can also be easily translated to problems in a global context. At some point, the realization dawns that this drama affects us all.
Felipe Jácome (1985, Ecuador) studied at the London School of Economics. In 2010, he won theYoung Reporter Competition of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Jácome’s photographs have appeared in publications such as the National Geographic, The Washington Post, Foreign Policy Magazine, The Guardian, Vice Magazine, and CNN. Jácome’s work has been exhibited in London, Geneva, Amsterdam, Quito, La Paz, and Washington DC. In 2019, he was selected by World Press Photo for the 6×6 Global Talent Award for South America.