Rajasthan, India. 1991-1996
Sand, wind, sun, silence, clay, dust.
And, suddenly, the buses.
Transport or shelter?
More like mobile oases.
The temple in the cabin:
the watchful gods.
The sun sneaks in and reaches
cinnamon and clove skins;
eyes of honey, of sea, of olive.
Veils and turbans, impossible colors.
Ephemeral family: passengers.
A smile, a gesture;
millenary glances, stony faces.
A bronze contact.
The gathering dissolves in the music,
and the desert, the aridity, is forgotten.
Some enter, others leave.
The brotherhood, changing, remains.
From village to village, on the desolate roads.
Long and short journeys;
each one arrives at his destination.
Time passes; the journey is over.
The only thing that remains
is the memory -and the photos-
of some routes and some characters,
The Golden Guaire
Caracas was founded between the Caroata streams, tributaries of the Guaire, the river that crosses the valley. Fifteen kilometers to the east, after traveling its entire length, the Guaire bends and leaves the city in Petare, which in the local language meant: in front of the river.
Since the end of the 19th century, the Guaire has been a recipient of sewage, carrying all sorts of effluents, sewers, drains, objects and even urban myths: it is said that just before the demolition of the Catia and La Planta prisons, the prisoners threw their spoils into the river to recover them when they regained their freedom. This gold is the great hidden treasure. The myth of El Dorado that -miners of spirit- we have been excavating as a city and as a nation, reincarnates devalued until it is located at the bottom of our dump.
The country opened up to the most devastating mining with the Orinoco Mining Arc, while in the Guaire there is a proliferation of miners who are sweeping up the bottom of the sewage, examining a dark detritus in the hope of finding some piece, a jewel, a fragment that will allow them to live better than with the lowest minimum wage in the hemisphere. A guild that welcomes everything from bricklayers and students to fugitives.
Ancient coins, chains, dentures, rings, gold is appearing before a battalion that enters with its hands in what nobody wants to see, chasing a chimera to survive the final stage of a foundational myth in such decadence that degraded hope until the waste area.
Antonio Briceño Linares. 2020