The Spitting Image of the Kuna Soul
For Carlos Diez Polanco (Madrid, 1954), photography is the best way there is to express emotions, as well as the atmospheres, values and motivations of all the peoples. With his camera stung over his shoulder, he’s wandered the schools of Brazil, the churches of Latin America and the scenery of a number of world regions.
The reality and the ambience of over 30 countries from three different continents have pieced together a photographic archive of nearly 120,000 pictures, all taken on the basis of his self-taught formation.
Portraits, architectures, sports, societies, cultures and a whole lot more have provided material for 53 personal exhibitions that have been presented in galleries, museums, cultural centers and other arts-related institutions worldwide.
In addition to his four photographic books, Diez Polanco has now added a new effort: a work on the Kuna community in the town of Kuna Yala, that dwells the San Blas region of Panama’s Caribbean coast. The feelings, the daily life, the centuriesold traditions, the dreams and the spirituality of the Kuna people come alive in the lovely pictures of his Kuna Dule exhibit.
Watching his snapshots is like traveling to that paradisiacal island to grasp the lifestyle of the Kuna people. It’s like riding down their canoes, listening to the stories told by the elderly, spending time with the women who wear their traditional garments and do their housewife chores, and sharing the games of the village kids.
The Kuna Dule exposition gives us “a kindhearted, blissful and real glimpse” of these people who have managed to cling to their cultural values, lifestyles and ancestral traditions. The Reina Torres de Arauz Anthropology Museum, the Government Palace and other Panamanian institutions, like the Juan Demostenes Arosemena School in Santiago de Veraguas or the Morgan Battery in Colon have already witnessed this creative endeavor.
Carlos Díez Polanco (left) presented his Kuna Dule Exhibit before Panamanian authorities. In the picture, next to Polanco, Anel Omar Rodríguez, manager of INAC and a Sahyla (leader) of the community Kuna.