Alejandra López-Zaballa Ruiz
Shelters & Futures
Shelters & Futures started in a girls’ caring home at Oaxaca, in February 2015. The first time I travelled to Oaxaca, I spent 15 days with the girls, after that I have gone back on several occasions to continue the work over the last 2 years and a half and it goes on.
Beyond the testimonial value of this project, there is the aim to raise awareness – from the affections and the spontaneity – about a social problem many times ignored. It seems like there is a big wall, a big border between the kids who live in an orphanage and the kids who don't, sometimes is real, sometimes we create it by isolating these kids, by ignoring they exist and they are “normal”. These type of projects are not usually viral on the social media, they are not the front page, not even the back page of a paper; but I believe we, artists, can also contribute to give voice to the ones who don't have a voice. Photography, as any other expression of art is a powerful communication tool that can break those borders, expand boundaries and make edges between "different worlds" less sharp.
These images allude to the abandonment and survival of these girls, addressed from their routines and dreams, exhibiting those spaces (boundaries) of playfulness and memoir. The photos look over the places - the shelters -, their daily chores, the games and the longings of these girls, like a capture of the experience and the time fading. And the time will also come for them because as Victor Hugo said “The future has many names”. This is a social project and a percentage of the sales are donated to the orphan house.