Fernando Arias

Artist, curator

Colombia / United Kingdom

Utopias in the Forest, Photo: Fernando Arias

What are, in your view, the major issues and problems with respect to the Global South?

I was born and have lived most of my life in a country in conflict. From this perspective, my opinion on the major cause of this situation is social inequality. A society that for 60 years has been under the control of four families does not allow for an acceptable distribution of wealth. The Global South is identified by this phenomenon. Another issue is the lack of interaction between the countries that make up this Global South; there is little interest in us getting to know one another and in making alliances that would bring us common benefit since our eyes have always looked to the North, to the developed and powerful countries.

How does the episode in which you participated relate to these problems?

I think that what would be most relevant to illustrate the answer to this question is a transcription of the text of the short film LIA, which I directed. The space for reflection that Lia Rodriguez had the opportunity to experiment with in the Base Chocó of More Art More Action allowed us a collaboration that led Lia to conclude this poetry.

An endless sadness.
That entire beauty, almost pornographic when we think about the whole tragedy.
How to articulate those realities, they are untransferable frontiers of inequality.
Conferred borders as cuts never healed. Open forever and purulent (rotten)

That we chant, that we dance, that we fish…
That we laugh, that we eat fish, cassava, banana
That we make love, that we care, that we love…
Nothing cures that big sore that hurts Colombia, Brazil, the Americas, the Orient, up, down,
the sore of misery, oppression and abuse…

At the same time that I start counting the days I have left, a fine sadness like rain cover
my feelings towards this place, idyllic and terrible, paradisiacal and infernal
Opposition, paradoxical.
All the sadness of the world reunited here in the sands of these beaches, in the sand of many beaches.
All the beauty of the world too.
High tide, low tide goes and comes back from very contrasting feelings.
High tide, low tide

Fernando Arias works between Bogotá, the remote Colombian pacific coast of Chocó and London. Through video, photography, installation and interventions, the themes he approaches include conflict in relationships, sexuality and religion as well as social and environmental issues.