My Spot of Beauty: Maria Teresa Salvati presents Chiara Scardozzi

My Spot Of Beauty Maria Teresa Salvati Presents Chiara Scardozzi 1

Maria Teresa Salvati every month presents photographers seen through their intimate and personal motivation, their Spot of Beauty.

Chiara Scardozzi

Cultural anthropologist who explores issues related to the relationship between man and the environment, including land rights, economical subsistence and how anthropology can provide the tools to understand how man and earth can coexist in harmony.

Photography becomes a compensatory and complementary tool, both of the story and of the part linked to the senses. Following the loss of part of the hearing, the visual representation has taken on a peculiar value: that of the amplification of the sense of sight.

The production of images satisfies a compensatory and conciliatory need between the cerebral and the creative side. And then photography becomes textured experimentation, creativity, creation of often distant imaginations, which tap into ancient stories linked to the women of the family, the land and ancestral imagery. Photography becomes a personal language that adds  strong colours, interpretation of signs, historical studies, beauty.

Images and visual creation become a subjective narration that accompany anthropology, and which have the function of insinuating doubt, relativizing, questioning the world as it was known before, in the way of redesigning history and giving back an imaginary full of fantasy and magic, and at the same time, reconciling a part of the self that needs understanding and balance.
Balance is a need, but at the same time a continuous game that helps to put together the pieces of the lived life and that learned in books, as well as a way to give herself and the public, some open answers in the perennial dichotomy between rationality and a fervent imagination.

My Spot Of Beauty Maria Teresa Salvati Presents Chiara Scardozzi 2

About ‘Honhat – The Name of the Land’ – words by Chiara Scardozzi:

The Gran Chaco is the largest forest area of Latin America after the Amazon. It represents the biggest woodland area in Argentina and the most affected by policies of irrational exploitation of the environmental heritage. This situation undermines its important biodiversity, social heterogeneity and the diversity of identities and threatens the existence of its inhabitants.

The journey to the region of the Gran Chaco is a rite of passage in a transitional, complex, ever-changing order. The Chaco attracts and terrifies, welcomes and bewilders; it smells of dust and blood, alcohol and coca leaves, breast milk and sweat. It is a desire of water and justice.

“You can enter into the Chaco; you can leave it”, so say the people living on the banks of the Pilcomayo River, which divides Argentina from Paraguay. As if where the paved road ends and the forest begins, a world is replaced by another: the Land, that the Wichí people call “Honhat”, the most precious and precarious thing for indigenous people and campesinos who inhabit the semi-arid region, affected by decades of political struggles to obtain the legal title of the lands where they live, with distinct but related forms, mutable but persistent, transforming the space into culturally organized territories, coexisting with the spirits, plants, animals, the forest and the river. Honhat (or Pachamama, as campesinos call it), is the concrete base of life but, at the same time, it is not only a physical- space, it is a socio-cultural and spiritual place.

“Honhat” is part of a large ethnographic research about the restitution land process that I started conducting from 2009 in Salta Province (Argentine). It is dedicated to the encounter with the complexity of this arid and warm land and its people, to those who over the years have been able to draw paths, teaching me other possible ways of living; to their daily struggles, their challenges and desires, the smiles, the silences. To everything we shared. 

Time to read
3 min
Words by
Maria Teresa Salvati
Published on
26 June 2020
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