21 June 2021

A Fantastic and Decolonized Gaze of Bolivia’s Collective Imagination

21 June 2021 - Written by PhMuseum

Seeking to expand the collective imagination of his country while freeing it from western simplifications, River Claure recontextualizes Le Petit Prince within contemporary Bolivia, creating a diverse universe in which all symbols harmonically coexist.

"Warawar Wawa" in the Aymara language (Son of the Stars) is a recontextualization of Antoine Saint Exupery's book, Le Petit Prince, to the new contemporary mixed Andean culture. For a long time, Bolivia has been reduced to foreign “folklorizing” narratives, that observed just some of the ethnic components of the region. Somehow this reduction has pointed out “what we are” and “what we are not”, this homogeneous way of looking has strongly affected the Bolivian imagination when thinking of itself. The way we imagine our homeland and our identity according to the territory is totally linked to the canons of representation of these foreign looks from the past, historically associated with the camera.

In this sense, Warawar Wawa leads us to think of a more "mixed" universe regarding the systems of representation of the past that sought the extrapolation of the "indigenous" to the "foreign". This project pretends to share my own heterogeneous identity, which embraces and does not deny the mark of the West but also lives conscious of its roots, of my ethnic roots and all of these through a fantastic universe.

Words and Pictures by River Claure.


River Claure (b. 1997) is a Bolivian Visual Artist. His work revolves around cultural juxtapositions and the investigation of identities marked by the territory. He recently won the Genesis Imaging Award of FORMAT 21 and his work has been exhibited at festivals such as GetxoPhoto, FIFV, Photoville and Lagos Photo. In 2020 he published his first photobook «Warawar Wawa» with Colombian publisher RAYA and his name appeared among «Ones to Watch» by the British Journal of Photography. He currently lives and works in Madrid and he is represented by Vigil Gonzales Gallery (PE). Find him on PHmuseum and Instagram.


This feature is part of Story of the Week, a selection of relevant projects from our community handpicked by the PHmuseum curators.

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