The 21st century is defined by it’s convergence of various world crisis- economic, political, environmental, and social. As a result, “fractures”, previously hidden by a global paradigm of infinite growth, have been revealed. For our collective these “fractures” represent an important moment in history where commonly held social, political, economic and environmental preconceptions increasingly seem irrelevant. Our work is focused on documenting the human stories of struggle, growth, consumption, suffering, and resistance that is life in these “fractures”. We hope to not only commit these stories to a collective memory, but also to use their documentation to challenge the uncritical acceptance of the status quo. We trust our audience and the broader public to see our work and reconsider- constant growth is not sustainable. Rather it is our belief that this convergence of crises signifies change is inevitable.
Fractures Photo is a documentary photography collective founded in the spring of 2011. The collective is made up of four professional photographers. Guillaume Darribau and William Sands are based in Barcelona, Spain. Anderson Barbosa lives in Belém, Brazil, and Oscar B. Castillo lives between Caracas, Venezuela and Mulhouse, France. The collective was born from a shared passion for documentary photography and more importantly a shared history of participation in alternative social movements. Fractures Photo is organized in a collective structure where financial and strategic decisions are made through a consensus seeking process. Fractures celebrates its members’ individual talents and perspectives while finding strength and legitimacy in the collective’s international nature and collective process.
As photographers we are often reminded of the dynamics of power that come with our cameras. We believe the best documentary work is sincere, and requires risk for both the photographer and subject. Our work is our form of expression and its intention is to complicate otherwise simplified public discourses. For us the image is a powerful tool that carefully understood, can be used to promote progressive change. With the technological advancements in the photographic industry we see an emerging renaissance of documentary photography. Fractures Photos hopes to contribute to this renaissance.
Focusing Our Work
We divide our work into four main categories. These categories are not rigid and much of our work overlaps different categories, representing the convergence of crises. Our work is categorized for legibility but each story should be understood as not standing alone rather as part of a larger puzzle.
FRACTURES IN THE ECONOMIC SYSTEM
Evidence of these fractures can be found in the current financial crisis. As a collective we understand this crisis is a direct consequence of a speculative and predatory economic logic. This logic is the same logic that drove the sub-prime mortgage market in the United States, and the construction bubble in Spain. As a result a widely accepted global trust in basic of financial institutions, like multi-national corporations and international banking conglomerates has eroded. Vibrant parallel economies have emerged through the cracks, while corporate profiteering continues.
FRACTURES IN THE ENVIRONMENTAL SYSTEM
Global warming has resulted in increased environmental instability. Flash floods, frequent tornados, early hurricanes, heavy blizzards, and record temperatures are creating significant consequences for humanity. For many adaptation is already a reality. Fractures Photo believes forced adaptation to environmental instability is of historic importance.
FRACTURES IN THE POLITICAL SYSTEM
Old political systems are growing irrelevant in local political economies. For Fractures Photo the reemergence of a grassroots politics of the street, is proof of this irrelevancy. Of equal importance the global rise of reactionary forces, like religious fundamentalists and neo-fascist nationalists, is pushing the basic liberal values of secularism and democracy.
FRACTURES IN THE SOCIAL SYSTEM
Fixed points of cultural reference are constantly being challenged. Identity is no longer just defined by race, class, gender, sexuality, or nationality. Rather for many, identity has become a more fluid and adaptive mix of all these categories. This fluidity has reinvented traditions and created autonomous subcultures. Fractures Photo is particularly interested in both new forms of social exclusion and solidarity.