Paco Contreras



Freeland, photo exhibition

Mucho Más Mayo Festival

240 x 180 cm digital printing

Cartagena, 2008

Fotograf�a de la pieza Comestibles

Freeland was the title of the collective photographic exhibition Pablo Sanchez del Valle organized for the 2008 edition of the Mucho Más Mayo Festival, in Cartagena.

Pieces were hung on lampposts in the Carmen street, and their theme focused on interculturality, integration and communication with foreign communities in our city.

Foods is a photomontage in which appears a section of a shelf with food products as those that can be found in any supermarket or mall.

Since the concepts of interculturality, integration and communication, I asked myself what was the situation in this regard in my surroundings, in the city, and was obvious that there was a clear distinction between the different cultures and nationalities who share our streets, either daily or social, until to administrative level.

Anglo-Saxon citizens or from other European origin are perceived as beneficial for the city because they spend their money here, but other foreign residents are perceived with negativity and even as a source of problems. I'm talking about those who come from Morocco or South America, which are the most numerous in the city, and who elected this city by the amount of job offers in the agricultural sector and services.

It is interesting however that these differences are diluted at a commercial level, and except in the Moroccan case


, malls respond to the demands of foreign communities at the same level.

Installation of the piece in the Carmen street

We can find english typical products together with those from Colombia or Ecuador in the corridors of meals of the world of many supermarkets in the city, I don't mean that kind of products which commercial brands try to sell us as exotic foods or à la mode, if not that you can find the same items that would be found in their countries, tagged in their language or in Spanish language of common use there.

This non-discriminatory commercial attitude, which seems accurate to me (not forgetting that it is interested, of course), is what I think we should duplicate in the intercultural relations of the city of Cartagena to achieve true integration and exchange of knowledge and mutual experiences.

In my piece, I compose the ranks of a fake section of a invented mall in such way that, foods from well considered communities are found on the upper shelves, and on the bottom, there are articles from lower considered communities.

It is created as a sort of order or

Photograph from the piece with the Murcias Gates street at the background

record or a kind of a contemporary social pyramid that it tries to reflect that, in the social sphere, we are still separated by many prejudices and stereotypes.

Photographers: Javier Conesa, Susana Sánchez, Paco Contreras, Domingo LLor, Felipe García, Juan Carlos Campoy, Javi Rapallo, Antonio Gil, Elena Azzedin, Seal, Abel F. Ros, Águeda Pérez, Gloria Nicolás, Elena Ayala, Patxi Navarro, Alfonso Romero, Pablo Sánchez, Alexander Bogdanov, Kraser and Abraham Martínez.

(1) Moroccan community turns out to be the foreign community most closed to the cultural exchange of all those communities that live in our city; malls and supermarkets barely have it in mind to offer them specific products from their country. Either by the language difference or the cultural, Moroccans prefer to make many of their purchases in the district stores run by their compatriots.

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