Shooting Cameras for Peace:
Youth, Photography, and
the Colombian Armed Conflict
Disparando Cámaras para la Paz:
Juventud, Fotografía y
el Conflicto Armado Colombiano
John Collier Jr., Award for Still Photography, 2021, Winner
Independent Publisher Book Awards,
Category: Current Events, 2021,
Visual Culture Section Book Award, Latin American Studies Association, 2022, Honorable Mention
As a young Fulbright scholar in Bogotá determined to democratize the photographic gaze and bring new visions and voices to public debate about Colombia’s armed conflict, Alexander L. Fattal founded Disparando Cámaras para la Paz (Shooting Cameras for Peace). The project taught photography to young people in El Progreso, a neighborhood on the city’s outskirts that was home to families displaced by violence in the countryside. Cameras in hand, the youth had a chance to record and reimagine their daily existence.
Shooting Cameras for Peace / Disparando Cámaras para la Paz is a penetrating look at one of Latin America’s most dynamic participatory media projects. The haunting and exuberant photographs made under its auspices testify to young people’s will to play, to dream, and to survive. The images bear witness to the resilience and creativity of lives marked by a war that refuses to die.
With text in English and Spanish, Shooting Cameras for Peace / Disparando Cámaras para la Paz makes vital contributions to studies of collaborative media, photographic activism, and peace and conflict in Colombia. Fattal’s insightful text offers critical reflection on the genre of participatory photography and the structural challenges faced by similar media projects.
Harvard University Press (Peabody Museum Press), 2020, translated by Andy Klatt and María Clemencia Ramírez, afterword by Doris Sommer
“Shooting Cameras for Peace / Disparando Cámaras para la Paz is more than a particularly profound reflection on a haunting gallery of photographs. The project in Colombia and this bilingual publication, in which aesthetics and academics engage in a fruitful dialogue, will serve as a model and a guide for arts interventions in a range of genres and environments and will resonate widely among activists and potential allies.”
"Shooting Cameras for Peace / Disparando Cámaras para la Paz es más que una reflexión particularmente profunda de una galería de fotografías evocadoras e inquietantes. El proyecto en Colombia y esta publicación bilingüe, en la que la estética y los académicos se encuentran en un diálogo fructífero, servirá como modelo y guía para intervenciones artísticas en la gama de géneros y entornos. Esto resonará ampliamente entre activistas y aliados potenciales. "
author of / autor de The Work of Art in the World