Marcel Reyes - Cortez is a Visual Anthropologist living and working in London.
As a visual anthropologist and artist, Marcel’s current research explores the fusion between photographic practice and academic research in an attempt to promote and enrich the collaboration and exchange between them.
11-13 December 2014, Moscow, Russia
Abstract: ‘My grandmother is not a ‘corpse’: The forgotten dead of a Megalopolis’
The Waso Boorana are a nomadic pastoral people that trace their origins from the Oromo people of Ethiopia with a population of about 21,392 (1990) in Isiolo, Kenya. Before the Shifta war in the 1960s the Waso Booranas were the richest nomadic tribe in Eastern Africa. During the war they were located into towns and many of their animals killed. They were not able to continue with their pastoralist way of life and become one of the poorest nomadic tribes in Eastern Africa. The Booranas had to settle in villages and continuously suffer attacks by ex-soldiers and bandits who kill them without mercy and rob them of whatever little they might have left. Together with the hardships resulting from droughts unable to travel and practice their traditional customs, they have become a community forgotten by the world. What impressed me the most during my time with the Waso Borranas between October and November 1992 was their optimism and will to survive. The Waso Boorana have an incredible sense of community and ability to cope with sudden changes without losing their social or cultural identity.
'The lost path of Waqqa', The Barbican Centre, London, 1993.
Abstract: ‘Visual research in the cemeteries of Mexico City: Photography, a social research method’
Panteón Jardín, a modern multi-faith cemetery built in the 1930s and is a prime example of how the social rituals that exist in the spaces of the living are reflected through the spatiality and location of the dead.