Papel Soberano In collaboration with Juan Pablo García Sossa Social Sculpture + Discussion Platform Bogotá, Colombia 2018
A land that was thought of as having infinite resources, one of the nations with the greatest wealth of South America, is now perceived as finite. In a span of 10 years Venezuela changed 3 times its currency and banknotes. Predictions indicate that the hyperinflation that began in 2016, may increase to 12,000% in 2020. Money stopped being money. After migrating all over the Americas looking for opportunities and survival, Venezuela became the third largest population asking for asylum seeking in Europe, after Syria and Afghanistan (BAMF)). Up to date, four million Venezuelans have emigrated. Yet, why has this Humanitarian Crisis often been underrepresented and over politicized?
Papel Soberano is an investigation about the role of papers in the Venezuelan Humanitarian Crisis. In the first phase, 1,500 banknotes of Bolivares that arrived in the pockets of people, were directly traded in Cucuta, one of the main border cities between the two countries. These Bolivares were at the day (December 2018) worth around 15€ and weighed 1,5kg. Going from Bolivares Fuertes, to Bolivares Fuertes in thousands, then to Bolivar Soberano and from February 2019 back to Bolivares, Venezuela’s currency has been extremely unstable. In the second phase, some banknotes were transformed into recycled paper, stretching the fact that the material is worth more than the bank notes themselves. The third exploration deals with the role of papers in the Venezuelan migratory wave, the complexities related to the status of irregularity and the generation of babies and children that are currently undocumented. Through making tangible, graspable and sensible the hardships of this Humanitarian Crisis, Papel Soberano aims to be a platform of empathy and support.
Valenzuela Klenner Galería
FLORA Ars+Natura Open Studios 2018