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April 4, 2013

Series of events feature photographer’s essays on Colombia’s indigenous peoples

TERRE HAUTE — Photo essays by Alexandra McNichols-Torroledo depicting the plight of the indigenous peoples of Colombia are scheduled to be on display until April 13 at the Landini Center for Performing and Fine Arts at Indiana State University.

The photos are part of McNichols-Torreoledo’s master’s of fine arts exhibition. An opening reception for the exhibit will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on May 5 in the University Art Gallery.

The McNichols-Torroledo’s photography of the tragedy in Colombia is also on exhibit in Moench Hall at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology through May 27.

“Colombia ranks first in the world in human rights violations and second after Sudan in internally displaced persons,” McNichols-Torroledo said. “During the past five years, the problem has become worse than ever. The Indigenous are being forced off of the land they have inhabited for hundreds of years by armed paramilitary groups. The groups are like armed gangs. Often, they are employed by corporate interests and the government itself because they want the land, which is valuable for mineral deposits like gold and minerals.”

McNichols-Torroledo is from Bogata, Colombia, and she moved to Terre Haute 10 years ago. Her photographic essays document how misplaced indigenous are forced by the government into unsafe living conditions, like shelters in Bogota. In some cases, they have been relocated to housing set on top of landfills.

In addition to her photographic essays at ISU and Rose-Hulman, McNichols-Torroledo will be giving lectures on the difficulties of life in Colombia for indigenous people. The first will be at 4 p.m. on Wednesday in front of the recital hall in ISU’s Landini Center for the Performing Arts. Her presentation, sponsored by ISU’s Diversity Office and the Hispanic Association, will include a video recording of testimonial pleas of Indigenous people living in a landfill in Meta, Colombia.

On April 30, McNichols-Torroledo is giving a lecture at Rose-Hulman in the Myers Technology Auditorium on the problems indigenous people have living in the Meta landfill. At 5 p.m. on June 7, she will give the same lecture in Indianapolis at the Heartland Gallery at 1028 N. Capitol Ave.

 

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