Melanie L. Wells Alvarado (Shobhana)
I have been photographing the indigenous people in Costa Rica since 1996 and overtime have had a peak in the window to their souls. It has been a series of very humbling and extremely powerful experiences. To gain their trust and warmth, to share and capture moments of their lives in the jungle and to be accepted in their private worlds is indeed a great honor. To feel their love is priceless.
Since I was a young child growing up in Costa Rica, I heard many stories from my father about the mysterious people that lived deep in the jungles. These stories did not match with what I was learning in school. I wanted to go there and see for myself what life was really like for them, thus, in 1996 my journey began. My first photographic encounter was in Cöen in Valle de la Estrella.
Victoria C. Fontan
I am a Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies. My original specialization has been in insurgency studies, focusing on the role of humiliation in relation to the emergence of insurgencies, mostly in a Middle Eastern context. I have researched and taught in various conflict environments throughout the world.
After 9 years of living in Costa Rica, this project welcomed me as I am about to re-settle. Before I leave, I want to leave a contribution behind and feel honored to have been asked to jump on board. I am a strong believer in and practitioner of decolonizing research methods and I cannot wait to connect with the communities that are welcoming me.
A Window into the Soul - BOOK PROJECT