Between 2003 and 2008, I photographed the farmers, miners and young urban indigenous who form the majority of Bolivia's population. Moving from a wide network of rural mountain villages to the outskirts of towns and cities rapidly expanding across the barren highlands of the Andes, in Bolivian World Tour I examine the changing expressions of identity of indigenous Bolivians through their political, cultural and economic struggles with the forces of globalization.
I see the present as a moment of great sacrifice for the people of the Andes, as local concepts of identity and belief are rapidly being challenged by an idealized image of the self loosely interpreted from the cultural excesses of the United States. One way this is reflected is in the changing role of sacrifice within indigenous life, as sacred ways of living in relation to the earth are losing ground with the newest generations.
According to my understanding of the Andean Cosmovision, I have constructed many of the images in this project as diptychs, to address the inherent dualities of existence: they are at the same time complementary and opposing, interacting aspects of a single whole. In a country where political demonstrations and intense religious celebrations in the streets and plazas are the norm, the lines between what is public and what is personal bleed into deeper notions of a common identity for many of Bolivia's people: concepts which are increasingly alien in our increasingly self-constructed world.
Evan Abramson is an award-winning filmmaker and photographer born in New York City. Together with his wife Carmen Elsa Lopez, he writes, directs, shoots, edits and produces. In 2010 they formed Cows in the Field, a production house focused on telling the stories of people impacted by environmental crisis around the globe — and on finding solutions.
Their 2011 documentary Carbon for Water has won nearly 20 film festival awards. Evan’s 2010 multimedia documentary When the Water Ends won First Prize at the 2012 World Water Forum and was nominated for a Webby, a World Press Photo Award and was a finalist in the Online Journalism Awards.
Evan’s photography has been published in National Geographic Adventure, The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian Weekend Magazine, FT Weekend, The Sunday Times, Du Magazin, Yale Environment 360, NACLA: Report on the Americas, The Progressive and Courier Japan.
His photography and multimedia installations have been exhibited at the MAC (Contemporary Art Museum), Santiago, Chile (2011), Noorderlicht Photofestival, The Netherlands (2010), Rayburn House Building, United States Congress, Washington, DC (2010), Vox Populi Gallery, Philadelphia (2009), Washington Square East Galleries, New York City (2009), The National Museum of Art, Bolivia (2008), Kiosko Gallery, Bolivia (2008), SIART Biennial, Bolivia (2007), FotoEncuentro Photography Biennial, Bolivia (2007), The National Museum of Ethnography, Bolivia (2007), The Ricardo Palma Cultural Center, Peru (2006), William Siegal Galleries, Santa Fe (2005), Art for Change, New York City (2005).
He and Carmen hold Monroe Fellowships from Tulane University for their film Last Stand on the Island.