“Macondo is not a place, but a state of mind that allows one to see what one wants to see, and how” – Gabriel García Màrquez
Marco Vernaschi’s whimsical series, “Macondo,” is an exploration of life as it unfolds along the meandering course of the Magdalena River, seamlessly blending the quintessence of Colombian magical realism with the unyielding resilience of its inhabitants.
Drawing inspiration from the fictional town conceived by Gabriel García Márquez and deeply entrenched in the rich tapestry of his literary opus, Vernaschi’s “Macondo” encapsulates the spellbinding intricacies interwoven into the fabric of ordinary existence. The series unfolds the enchantment of everyday life, laying bare the spirit, love, isolation, and symbiotic relationship with nature defining the communities of fishermen populating one of Latin America’s largest aquatic ecosystems.
Amidst the bucolic landscape, individuals navigate the escalating challenges of climate change. As El Niño tightens its grasp, the unrelenting surge of extreme heat emerges as a formidable menace to their time-honored way of life. The once abundant fish populace, vital for sustenance, dwindles beneath the scorching caress of rising temperatures.
As a consequence, fishermen explore alternative avenues for sustenance and income, turning to caiman hunting or engaging in illicit wildlife trade when feasible, or resorting to rudimentary agriculture and modest-scale cattle farming. In addition to these tribulations, soaring temperatures curtail productive endeavors on most days. Despite the region’s inherent warmth, the sustained onslaught of extreme heat renders the continuation of daily activities physically and mentally untenable.
Each portrait serves as a portal into the existence of those inhabiting the Magdalena River, metaphorically illustrating the fluid junctures between reality and fantasy, and mirroring the ceaseless flow of life itself. Vernaschi’s photographs acts as a threshold into the dynamic existence of the communities nestled along the Magdalena River’s banks.
Functioning as a metaphor, Vernaschi’s photographs capture the elusive boundaries demarcating reality and imagination, constructing a reflective canvas that mirrors life’s perpetual current through the corridors of time. In this enchanting narrative, individuals metamorphose into characters, where the commonplace assumes an extraordinary allure, unveiling the very essence of magical realism and the pulsating identity of Colombia’s Caribbean region.