The exhibition Venezuela, The Wells Run Dry by Fabiola Ferrero, laureate of the 12th Carmignac Photojournalism Award, explores the disappearance of the Venezuelan middle class. A prosperous democracy in the 1960s and 1970s, the country is struggling to extricate itself from a deep economic crisis, marked by the plummeting price of oil, endemic corruption and hyperinflation. Seven consecutive years of economic collapse and political crisis have widened the inequality gap and destroyed the middle class.
The Venezuelan photographer set out to document years of wealth that now exist only in memory. She travelled to places that were once symbols of prosperity, looking for the remnants of a vanished economic success story. Her reportage took her across the country, photographing the disappearing
oil and salt industries and the communities that depend on them, the looted and abandoned universities, and the last traces left behind by Venezuelans who decided to leave the country for a better future.
Combining archival images, videos and photographs, Ferrero creates a visual capsule that documents the economic downturn in her country and the consequences for its people. She compares her project to trying to photograph a lake before it becomes a desert. “If there is a time to document and leave a trace of the memory of who we were, it is now.”
Until November 22nd
The Carmignac Photojournalism Award will present its 12th in Paris in the heart of an exhibition space that has just been completely renovated in Odéon: the Réfectoire des Cordeliers. Last vestige of a Franciscan convent built in the early 16th century, this 700 square meter building, now classified as a historical monument, was a major site of the French Revolution, hosting the heated debates of Danton, Desmoulin and Marat.
The Carmignac Foundation and PhotoSaintGermain gather at the Réfectoire des Cordeliers to offer a cultural programme during the festival: screenings, conferences, talks (Saturdays).