Carolina Agüero – “Photographic Compilation of the local Identity of Valparaíso”

LOCATION: Sofia Albertina Kyrka. Landskrona. MAP. Included in festival ticket.

Valparaíso is one of Chile’s most important ports, located on the Pacific coast two hours’ drive north-west of the capital Santiago. The population is around 250,000. The city is built on forty-two hills that, according to the big online encyclopaedia, “each differ from all the others”. The same can be said for the people of Valparaíso.

Only by acknowledging the existence of a person with a different sexual orientation can we accept that person, Carolina Agüero argues. The sexual and homosexual minorities in Valparaíso have joined in various organizations and social fronts to wage a long struggle in defence of human rights and in opposition to discrimination. But despite the progress, there is still a silent minority that is subjected to double discrimination: transsexuals, lesbians and transformists. They struggle with being misfits and being penned in.

Carolina Aguero

The “Photographic Compilation of the Local Identity of Valparaíso” took place in 2009–21. The project reflects the composition of the population’s identities and appraises their transformations and genres through the photographic image. The characters have bravely posed and displayed their lives, recognizing their respective identities as subjects. The exhibition has three basic themes: Transgender people: “Utopia – My Body Is Not My Body”; Stories of lesbian women: “The Imperfect Picture between Your Word and Mine”; and Transformism: “Evolution in Velvet”.

Carolina Agüero, born in 1986 in Puerto Montt in southern Chile, began studying photography in 2008 at the Instituto Profesional ARCOS in Valparaíso – and later studied sculpture at the Camera Lucida art school, where she now teaches. She has had exhibitions in the United States and Europe and has received a number of prestigious awards.