A once super rich oil nation, Venezuela is now home to some of the highest crime statistics on the planet, hyper currency inflation, a severely damaged health care system, and massive food shortages due to complete lack of agricultural production. April 2017 marked the start of an explosive four months of street protests that would leave 130 people dead. Daily, the streets were filled with protesters, armed with stones, fireworks, Molotov cocktails, and homemade shields, while the local police forces and National Guard fired tear gas, rubber bullets, marbles, water cannons, and also fire arms in their direction.
Youths organised, creating groups for different areas, mapping and planning, avoiding any risk of government infiltrations. On the 30th July 2017, a referendum for constitutional change went ahead and was accepted. This was a huge blow to “La Resistencia” that seemed impossible to come back from. As time goes on, Venezuela becomes more and more isolated. The country as a whole has a very uncertain future, though one thing is for sure, that things will most likely get a lot worse before they get better.
About the Artist:
James Forde hails from the green and wet lands of Ireland where he began his journey many years ago as a chef. This took him to live in London and New York as well. The last three years he has spent traversing through Latin America documenting social issues, perfecting his craft and trying to better understand the world around him. James attended no University or ever studied the visual arts as he left school at 16. After several different career choices he found his calling while living in El Salvador. Since then his focus has been long term documentary projects looking at the affects political decisions have on those at ground level. Driven by an insatiable appetite for knowledge and information. His obsession with photography is not so much about the medium itself but more about building a portfolio of visual knowledge while connecting with people and communities that he normally would never encounter.The camera has given James an excuse to continue travelling and asking questions. It allows him to get far closer to things that he feels important in the world. While documenting these issues he uses the camera as a tool of education both for himself and those around him.
About the Publisher:
PhotoIreland Foundation is a volunteer led organisation dedicated to stimulating a critical dialogue around Photography in Ireland, and to promoting internationally the work of artists in and from Ireland. PhotoIreland is committed to the cultivation of a deeper and critical understanding of Photography. In 2010, PhotoIreland launched Ireland’s first international festival of Photography & Image Culture: PhotoIreland Festival. It celebrated Ireland’s first Book & Magazine Fair in 2011, dedicated to Photography, which was the germ of The Library Project, a unique public resource library focused on the photobook opened in 2013.