"Faces of History — Latin America: Bolivia, Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru"

Latin America at the turn of the 20th century was a place of dramatic change and social upheaval. That transformation was captured by photographers such as Julio Cordero and Romulado Garcia. Now Wendy Watris, senior curator for FotoFest, has put together “Faces of History — Latin America: Bolivia, Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru,” a collection of images by eight noted photographers working there at the time.

Like many others, Bolivian Julio Cordero documented street life as well as official occasions. Working from his own studio in La Paz, Cordero photographed indigenous workers and wealthy families, schoolchildren and soldiers, each shown with the same dignity and pride. His work also shows the modernization of Bolivia as the country moved into the industrial age. Romualdo Garcia, based in Guanajuato, Mexico, is perhaps one of the most interesting photographers of the era. He was world-renowned for his work, winning praise for his photographs at the Paris International Exhibition in 1900. But while artistically very successful, Garcia was not so lucky financially. Soon after the Mexican Revolution started in 1910, he was forced to close his studio and his work wasn’t seen again until his archive was rediscovered in the late 1970s. Now that collection is considered a national treasure.

The other participating photographers include Benjamin de la Calle (Colombia), Agustin Victor Casasola (Mexico), Melitón Rodríguez (Colom-bia), Carlos and Miguel Vargas (Peru) and Juan José de Jesús Yas (Guatemala). The exhibit is on display 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. Through August 5. Allen Center One, 500 Dallas and Allen Center Two, 1200 Smith. For information, call 713-223-5522 or visit www.fotofest.org. Free.
Mondays-Fridays. Starts: June 6. Continues through Aug. 5, 2011

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Olivia Flores Alvarez