"There is a sphere with several points, it is like a star. It floats through the streets and mountains, travels all over the valley. It wanders at night when the children must return to their homes. If they do not, they may meet it, and then, if they look at it, they will lose their human form and become strange animals ... or dust. "
Oral story narrated in Mascarilla, Ecuador
Stardust is a photographic work done between 2015 and 2016 in Mascarilla, a small town located in the Chota Valley in Ecuador. It contains images that reinterpret the intangible heritage of the Afro-Ecuadorian community of the highlands. It is a visual story that represents the everyday life of the people by means of symbols extracted from the stories narrated orally by the inhabitants of the town.
The oral memory of ancestral peoples is not only limited to their myths and legends, it is a way of revitalizing culture transmitted by means of speech and daily activities. Stardust is a tribute to this living culture, which means the interlocution and interpretation of ancestral knowledge.
Some the inhabitants of Mascarilla and their ancestors have experienced devastating stories of slavery and exploitation before becoming the community they are today. A bright and vibrant town full of magic where women still walk invisible, despite being they who keep the town afloat.
These photographs speak of the symbiosis between traditions and ancestral oral memory, with the present mixed of contemporary influences.