"The walls are the publishers of the poor."—Eduardo Galeano
You may not know the names Leticia and Stanislas Poniatowski, but these collectors own the most important private collection of Latin American Photography in the world. Major works from their collection will be part of the ICP’s new exhibition, Urbes Mutantes (Mutant Cities), opening on Saturday here in New York.
This show, featuring over 200 images, draws from photographers across the continent, exploring the city as nexus between society’s cultural and political forces. Curator Alexis Fabry writes, "As the 20th century progressed, amidst struggles for social justice and in defense of democracy and freedom, the city became a setting for uprisings and revolutions. Images became as important as the stories covering the events that shaped these Latin American nations.”
My ignorance of Latin American photography makes me keen to discover more about this significant photographic history. We often read or hear about the events, but we don’t always get the chance to appreciate the artists behind these struggles, to learn who they are and what their contributions mean. Too often it is through the prism of American image makers that we see the world. “Urbes Mutantes” is of the people and for the people, and like a city, may change how we see ourselves. —Lane Nevares