Sunday, November 02, 2008

Mogna, stoic and isolated...

It is clear to me that towns in San Juan province, Argentina, should be independent kingdoms. Each is proud of its kind and lineage, and without thinking too much of itself would prefer not be included under confusing and labels… Mogna is an example of it…
On the way to Jachal we had been shocked at the sight of a road sign pointing 6o km inside the desert to a town called Mogna. Once in Jachal we got to know that the town was celebrating its 255 anniversary and managed to get a ride in a pick up from the town hall. I offered to set up a Photo exhibition of Afghanistan as contribution to the event.

The idea, show pictures of Afghanistan to the people of Mogna, and take pictures of them to show elsewhere. Doña Raquel Carrizo (70 years old) was very happy to be photographed while preparing mate. She carefully adds yerba and ajenjo, a local plant. She always sits under the same tree, that was already an old tree when she settled there 50 years ago. Her family lives from livestock herding, specially goats.

Hands at work... Doña Raquel knows how to prepare the best mates...

More than a hundred people had "goat" barbacue on the anniversary lunch. Even the governor was there talking all sorts of bullshit. He arrived in helicopter to a town with no paved roads.

I got permission to set up the Photo exhibition in a classroom at the primary school. I am intending, from now on, to set up photo exhibitions in each town I drop by on my way from Argentina to Alaska (starting Feb 2009). An interesting fact is that you receive very different feedbacks depending in each place you go. And these feedbacks become raw material for analysis themselves. People in Mogna regarded the landscapes of Afghanistan shown in my pictures as familiar to them! Also, some people at Mogna, were happy to buy my book.

Sunset on the way back to Jachal.

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