Si el sol llegara a oscurecer (y no brille más)

Surely he took up our pain

and bore our suffering,

yet we considered him punished by God,

stricken by him, and afflicted.

Isaiah 53:4

Julia, my maternal grandmother, died one night in March, as a result of cancer with which she fought for a year. She decided not to treat her illness, as she firmly believed that her god would heal her. The end of her life —always guided by the Christian faith— took place while she sang her favorite choir, surrounded by her entire family.

Her death, the repercussions it caused on my family and the heavy sensation of absurdity that his blind faith imprinted on my understanding left me with many emotional conflicts and ideological concerns, which are the origin of this project and my proximity to this thematic universe.

Some months after her death, he decided to collect photographs from the family archives and from her religious congregation, as well as a series of notes from her notebook, which was written during the months in which she struggled with her illness. With this material I developed sets that seek to be an exploration of the emotional, mental and ideological changes that this disease caused on her and on her family, in general. This first part of the project, rather intimate, made me see the dimensions and directions that the theme could reach, and think of other ways of materializing it.

The second part is about a documentary photographic approach, with a rather contemporary nuance, through which I seek to answer questions such as 'How far can someone go by faith?' or 'what do those who believe believe?', and, at the same time, pointing to what happens in these spaces, their beliefs and their worldview, based on the experience of my family and their congregation, and extrapolating it to that of the people that make up these groups and lead this lifestyle.

In this way, this project seeks to propose an intimate approach to the Christian faith, its vicissitudes and the way of thinking of its believers, often complex and radical, and other times beautiful and hopeful. I intend to confront the viewer with the same absurdity that invaded me when I saw my grandmother let herself die for faith, but also with the small luminous episodes full of illusion that appear in between.

As someone who grew up in a strongly believing family, and making use of the various visual resources and supports that I have been exploring, I seek to generate a realistic view of the subject, but not one that acts as a typographical mirror of what happens, but rather as an alchemy that allows us to observe below its causes, its motors, the reasons that lead people to surrender to the faith, to live it and die it, as my grandmother did.

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Si el sol llegara a oscurecer (y no brille más) by Joseph Ladron de Guevara

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