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Rodrigo Torres Barriga


© Rodrigo Torres Barriga

View Exhibition "Retratos Migrantes"

Curator: Sandeep Biswas

Curatorial Comment::

Economic inequality, rural poverty, significantly lower wages and recurring drought have played a major factor in the 20th century for the Central Americans to migrate to the USA for better opportunities.

Most people who migrate from Central America into the USA,  are from lower class background, dealing with  a crisis of extreme violence, high homicidal rate, social insecurity, lack of opportunity and a join or die gang recruitment policy , which has made it impossible for the innocent youth of these countries to survive a normal life.

Local Businesses in these countries face constant threat of extortion while the corrupt and inadequate policies fail to protect them.
Rodrigo’s intriguing series of portraits of a few of the migrants of Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua is a poignant reminder of a stark reality between the people of these nations. Looking  at each character, there is a visible evidence of struggle and despair, a feeling of uncertainty, yet an uncanny unknown hope in those glimmering eyes, regardless of gender and age.

Through the expressiveness yet simplicity of treatment with each portrait which represents a unique character of every migrant with the sensitivity of a highly credible story teller,  Rodrigo through his lens creates that extreme curiosity  about each character’s cultural, social and economic background. As a viewer, one would feel compelled to want to interact and understand more about these migrants, where each and every staring face seems to be trying to reach out to the viewer and  searching for their compassion.

What the future beholds for these people is a hopeful dream of fulfilment for everyone in these images.

@Sandeep Biswas

© Rodrigo Torres Barriga

View Exhibition "Retratos Migrantes"

Artist Statement:

These photographs were taken in Mexico in 2016 during the filming of my documentary "La patria del migrante" and were the result of an investigation into the social phenomenon of Central American migration to the United States. They were taken in the cities of Monterrey and Saltillo. Portraits of Central American migrants who must overcome all kinds of difficulties to cross Mexican territory and reach the United States; they are subject to harassment by drug cartels, common crime and often also by the police authorities themselves. Most of the time, migrants make their journey to the border in the freight train called "La Bestia" (The Beast), in which it is very difficult to survive. Throughout Mexico there are different organizations that give temporary shelter to migrants who are passing through, they are called "Casas del Migrante", where they can rest, feed and protect themselves for a few days while they regain strength and continue their journey. it was there where the present photographic portraits were taken and also the interviews for the film documentary.

Documental "La Patria del Migrante"

View Exhibition "Retratos Migrantes"

About the artist:

Rodrigo Torres Barriga, was born in 1965 in the city of Valdivia, Chile. Since he was a child he has been linked to the world of photography through his father Raul who taught him the alchemy and magic of this art.

Artistically, he received academic training at the Catholic University of Temuco. He is a graduate in Visual Arts, Photographer and Documentalist, Academic of the Institute of Visual Arts of the Universidad Austral de Chile in the chairs of Photography in the School of Visual Arts. Torres has developed his creative work for 35 years, creating artistic projects of various kinds and making multiple solo exhibitions in Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Sweden and France.

From 2013 to 2015 he was Director of the Galería Réplica (UACh) and from 2016 to 2019 Director of the Institute of Visual Arts of the UACh. Since 2019 he has been part of the International Advisory Board of the Visual Arts Faculty of the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León in Monterrey (Mexico).


Documental "La Patria del Migrante"


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