maracaibo

Terraza de usos múltiples en diseño realizado en Pent House con vista al Lago de Maracaibo.
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7

Telling Urban Stories from Venezuela with @revistanow

To discover more urban stories from Venezuela, follow @revistanow on Instagram.

(This interview was conducted in Spanish).

“What matters to me, what inspires me, is the people. That’s why I do so many portraits. I try to tell the story that no one sees, that no one knows and that no one wants to see,” says Ernesto Pérez (@revistanow), who works as editor at a digital magazine in Maracaibo, Venezuela.

Ernesto often takes pictures of public transport buses, which are colorful but overwhelming. “I live in a city where you get 112 degrees Fahrenheit [44 Celsius] at noon, so using public transport is a tough experience. I’m interested primarily in those feelings, in the expression of those on that transport system.”

“I take pictures of buses without air conditioning, where everyone is standing up. There’s an infernal heat. There are also other cars known as carros por puesto [public transport cars that fit up to 5 passengers], which are vehicles from the 50s that smell like gasoline,” Ernesto says.

Ernesto says his images represent a unique kind of beauty. “I’ve always thought that I’m disturbing people’s tranquility on their Instagram feed,” he says, adding, “I try to capture what it means to be in a city, I try to focus on people’s feelings. I like to get to know people on the streets. My city, my country is passing through a difficult moment and I am not trying to portray it in a bad light. I am trying to find beauty in places where it is difficult to find it.”

I saw this the other day in Maracaibo, Venezuela: That’s a public transport car, commonly known as a carrito por puesto, and the guy is protesting the general lack of just about anything in the country, where the windscreen says “there aren’t (car) spare parts, medicine, food, in Venezuela there’s jack shit”, and he’s taped to the car all the stuff you can’t find any more, just to give you an idea of how fucked things are over here.

2

Venezuelan people are standing up for their rights

Help us to spread the word! 

“Venezuela has a huge exile community. Myself included. The only way for us to give you support is by bringing the massacre in Venezuela to the attention of international organizations. Not so they can come in and take over but so that they can apply sanctions and severe diplomatic measures”

4

Maracaibo, Venezuela, has the shittiest public transport system I have ever seen, this set I took the other day is a common every day occurrence: Old, badly kept and mechanically unreliable buses overloaded to the brim with passengers, so much so that people dangle from the doors, with the vehicle being one bad corner away from toppling over.

Every day I see at least two broken down buses on the streets, and holy hell on rush hours the lines to catch one are a nightmare!

2

This is my latest college work and sleep depriver, done alongside a college classmate, we delivering it today and thankfully got the highest possible note!

If you can’t read spanish, this is basically an urban scale model of a neighbornhood of Maracaibo, scale 1:2000, in which we had to add both the topography levels, made of cardboard, and each individual home, made of cut pencil eraser.

This was based on a map of the zone and from which we had to copy the exact shape of each individual home and building, alongside adapting said shape to the leves when needed, so you can imagine the amount of work this took.

I’m quite proud of it, even if in the end I hated it with all my heart, because hot dang cutting eraser for 5 days straight ain’t fun.

The black finish was done with spray paint by the way, which ended up being the only easy part of the whole thing. 

6

Direct update from ‘San Martin’ (Avenida Cinco de Julio con Avenida El Milagro): 

Two of my best friends live here. This is real, guys. These are real things that are happening to real people who have families, friends, loved ones… 

Anyway, this morning at around 6 am, GNB arrived to the area. They began clearing the barricades which were preventing traffic flow. In an attempt to prevent the removal of the barricades, the residents of the surrounding buildings and the near-by barrio, “San Martin”, launched fireworks at the GNB. The GNB who were on the roofs of the buildings opened fire to apartment buildings and the barrio. They shot them with tear gas until they could finish the clearing of the street. They attacked the buildings and the barrio for one hour (9-10 am)

Currently, everything is militarised. In other words, the GNB have not left and there are a great amount of them still there.

At least we know that the insecurity that we suffer on a daily basis isn’t because of a lack of police force.