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Kingdom of Thieves

Displaced because of the armed conflict which has been eating the country away for more than 60 years, dozens of thousands of homeless people are invading the streets of Bogota, the Colombian capital. Abandoned by the system, whole families are sinking into poverty and criminality.

Right in the city centre, and two blocks away from the presidential palace, the district of the Cartucho became their refuge.
Facing poverty and the drug calamity that keeps spreading, this place quickly changed into a huge Cour des Miracles peopled with more than 20 000 residents. For the most part, they are beggars, robbers and criminals, gathered in a brotherhood of people from the street who name themselves “Neros”, from the word companeros, companion. The word “Neros” (proncounced nieros) is a general term which refers to all those considered by society as being a part of the common criminality. These city pirates have a lot In common with the pirates from the XVIIIth century: some aspects of their clothes, their social rules and a fierce spirit of liberty. The Nero knows no God and no master, and will not submit to society or to religious doctrine. He is an unconventional figure, a desperado who will not put up with any constraint and who is often on the run, ready to die.

Overdoses, stabs, shooting… Considered by the residents as the door to Hell, the Cartucho is like an island of torture where the only things that are respected are money, the lead of bullets, the law of silence and the law of the strongest.

The exhibition 'Kingdom of Thieves' gather several series together : Calle del Cartucho, Almas del Infierno, and Atras del Muro.

The exhibition consists of 51 colour and black and white prints. Format : 60 x 80 cm (32), 80 x 120 cm (19).

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