BEYOND THE DOCUMENTARY IN LATIN AMERICAN PHOTOGRAPHYBy Nathalie Goffard, Professor & Art Historian October 20, 2015
Art comes with its own clichés and fictions and Latin American art has often been reduced to its politics. One could agree with the commonly held assertion that ‘all art is political’, not just for the messages it transmits, or for the themes it discusses, but because it is a direct reflection on society and its time. The wide range of practices in Latin American photography has mainly been reduced to a particular type of photojournalism that was predominant during times of political instability and social inequality. Latin American photographers, seeking to give visibility to their peripheral status and write their own story within the historical context in which they lived, relied on a political aesthetic in order to become part of an international discourse. This perpetuated the myth that the realities these authors recorded should be defined as ‘documentary’.