The Spit­ting Ima­ge of the Ku­na Soul

Excelencias Turísticas del caribe y las Américas (Centroamerica) - - Author & Work - By: Car­men Fuen­tes Pho­tos: Car­los Díez Po­lan­co, Cour­tesy of INAC

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.

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