“I thought I was poor because I did not have shoes until I saw a child that did not have feet”

4 Jan

Along with our many visits, the mountains paired with the vibrant colors used in all the architecture have provided us Midwestern natives with a great amount of sensory stimulation on a daily basis. It seems as though no photographs can do the scenery justice. Furthering on the topic of justice, we visited a museum of very a famous Latin American artist named Oswaldo Guayasamin. Born in 1919 in Quito, Ecuador Guayasamin was an artist who became famous in the mid 1990s for artwork which focused on the oppressed populations of Latin America. He studied the past oppression of the indigenous people and the exploitation and abuse they received from the conquering Spaniards. Guayasamin’s mother was a mestiza, which means a person of mixed races, and his father was indigenous. He used his studies and experiences to make statements through his art to remind people about the mass division between classes and the troubles these abused populations faced. Guayasamin also painted many pieces about the pain mothers face at the loss of their child or the inability to provide for their child. He depicted his emotions of empathy towards oppressed populations in a creative way which gave those populations a voice. By his powerful artwork on the oppressed, Guayasamin became a powerful advocate through his intolerance of socioeconomic class division, racism, political oppression, and poverty.

In his later years Guayasamin painted about his ultimate goal of peace and tolerance in the world. Through our evaluation of the work of Guayasamin it is apparent that he had very similar core beliefs to the social work foundation. He was able to communicate to society with his voice and through the powerful catalysts of artwork. Prior to his death on March 10, 1999, Guayasamin was the winner of the Ecuadorian Salon Nacional de Acuarelistas y Dibujantes and Third Hispano-American Biennial of Art in Barcelona. Furthermore, the Fourth Biennial of São Paulo named him the best painter in South America in 1957. In commemoration of Guayasamin the day of his passing is marked as a day for national strikes, mainly by the indigenous, to lift their oppression.

Fourteen years after his passing the museum of his work remains in beautiful condition and copies of his paintings can be found all around the cities of Ecuador. Therefore, his voice continues to advocate to this very day. Unexpectedly, we left feeling as though we had been exposed to our first international social worker. He had a feminist perspective on injustice that moved us to open our worldview and consider the experiences and history of other countries.

Reference
http://www.latinamericanart.com/en/artists/oswaldo-guayasamin/biography.html

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