Visual landscapes that take you to a rural paradise. Soundscapes that connect you to the urban jungle. Confusing ambiences. Overlapping lines. Images that say one thing. Sounds that speak of another. Changing landscapes. STATUS: RURAL (2016) is an audiovisual installation I created alongside Wendy Espinal. It was Selected for the 26 Concurso de Arte Eduardo León Jimenes (curated by Yina Jiménez Suriel) and is in display at Centro León in Santiago, Dominican Republic, until February 19th. The research leading to our projects as documentary filmmakers has brought us closer to the Dominican countryside. While researching for our films we started questioning the contradiction between the landscapes in front of us and their sound. By combining our social and environmental concerns, and by stimulating the senses through contemporary art, we wanted to observe, listen and debate about the changes that have been taking place in the rural areas of the country. STATUS: RURAL brings into discussion the stereotypical visual and sound landscapes of the rural Dominican Republic. It questions the new sounds that accompany the idyllic image of the Dominican countryside. There appears to be an incoherence between image and sound… Incoherence according to whom? A speedy and unstoppable evolution that can be studied through the glass […]
WATCH NOW on kanopystreaming.com/product/nana NANA is now available for libraries! If you’re a student or professor you can stream the film for free! Let your library know you’re interested.
“Nana” won the award for Best Feature from Dominican Republic at the RDoc Film Festival which took place in March 2016 in Santo Domingo. The documentary was shown for the first time in D.R. at a full house event on March 13 at the Cinemateca Dominicana, as part of the Festival’s program. Some of the characters were present for the Q&A session after the screening. “Nana” will have its local theatrical release in Spring 2016. Photos by Fran Afonso
Thanks to all for being there for the premiere at the Havana Film Festival! I loved listening to your thoughts and the personal experiences you shared after the screening. Thanks to Tanya Valette and Ernesto Alemany for their support. And thanks to Erika Santelices for the photos.
My first documentary film “Nana” (Nanny) premieres on December 10, 2015 at the Multicine Infanta in Havana, Cuba, as OFFICIAL SELECTION at the 37 Festival Internacional del Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano. ¡Check out the trailer here! Follow more news and behind the scenes for NANA on Facebook.
Kansas City Royals player Edinson Volquez, center, embraces his sister Wendy Volquez, left, and mother Ana Ramirez, right, as they stand next to the body of his father Daniel Volquez during his wake at a funeral home in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015. Volquez played Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday night, just hours after his father died of heart failure in the Dominican Republic. The elder Volquez, a mechanic, introduced his son to the game when he was about 10 years old. (AP Photo/Tatiana Fernandez) All photos © Associated Press It’s always difficult to cover a funeral on assignment. When I got to the funeral home for the wake of Edinson Volquez’s father, many other journalists (print and broadcast) were already there. The family never seemed upset for us being around. That made things easier. I couldn’t imagine myself surrounded by cameras while mourning a family member. But one thing I have learned from this and other funerals is that I can’t expect the other person to react the same way I would under similar circumstances. I once covered a funeral where a relative took a photo posing next to the body. I thought that was really weird […]
These days, the Dominican Republic has been on the news as the deadline came for undocumented migrants (mostly Haitians) to apply for legal status. I was covering the last two days up to the closing. All photos © Associated Press.
This week I’ll be taking over the @burndiary Instagram feed, which is part of Burn Magazine (curated by Magnum photographer David Alan Harvey.) Each week a different photographer from any part of the world takes over and keeps a visual journal of their day to day life. It’s my turn this week from Dominican Republic. Follow me!
I recently did photos for an article in the New York Times traveling down the border on the International Highway, where Dominican Republic is on one side of the road and Haiti is on the other. In Los Algodones, on the Haitian side, there is a small cockpit. On Sundays, Dominicans and Haitians gather and then amid screams, blood and a furious crowd fed by violence, two magical things happen that rarely occur in DR: xenophobia doesn’t exist and women are invisible. Inside the gallera it doesn’t matter if you’re Dominican or Haitian, nor if I’m the only woman among 75 men. Well, at least until one of the cocks falls and the world goes back to normal. When the fight ends, the owners grab their roosters and exit. Other men keep on arguing but the screams slowly calm down. Everyone begins to exit the cockpit and calm comes back (more or less) and with it comes “normal” behavior. Let me explain myself: The world seems to stop while these two birds attack each other and the ring in the center of the gallera is almost like a time bubble. When a cock dies the bubble explodes, the fury diminishes, and Dominican men once […]
Haitians play soccer after setting up an improvised goal on the International Highway that separates Dominican Republic (left) from Haiti (right). Today, the New York Times published the article “Driving the Seam of Hispaniola.” Although the article prompted negative remarks from a large group of Dominicans (like the comments that resulted from this one), I thought it was pretty good, especially when it was my turn to repeat the journey to illustrate Julia Alvarez’s words with photographs. I traveled through parts of the country that I hadn’t been to yet. I read the article before making the trip, and it was magical to slowly be discovering the places and things she had found months earlier during her journey. Just like Julia, I felt the magic of Montecristi as a sort of Dominican Macondo, and I also saw things along the road that I wish I hadn’t seen. It was an incredible experience, and mostly because I had the opportunity to illustrate the text from one of my favorite authors.