Photo Essay: Juxtapositions of Past and Present in Cartagena, Colombia

by Ekua on October 28, 2013 in captured on memory card,Colombia

The more pictures you see of a place you’re about to visit, the more you begin to place yourself in the middle of the images. After seeing numerous photographs of Cartagena, I started to imagine myself in a vibrant colonial town or alternatively, on a cosmopolitan Caribbean coast lined with highrise buildings whose windows shimmered the sun.

When I arrived in Cartagena and broke out of the boundaries of the four walls of pictures, neither of these imagined scenarios were what I saw. What I actually found was modernity encroaching on the colonial, and historical relics imposed upon a city that is ambiguously lodged between developing and “developed”.

In the touristy center of town, colorful colonial façades had modern signs advertising the museums, banks, and chain restaurants that occupied the buildings. Yellow cabs whizzed by on the narrow streets between colonial buildings. In a bay, a historic ship contrasted with a shipping port in the distance. A gigantic fort loomed over a nondescript part of the city with its canons pointed at a cluster of highrise buildings in the distance.

The imagined depictions I’d had of Cartagena before I arrived were not exactly inaccurate. But rather than finding two distinct and separate worlds, I saw the various tangled parts of one world that clashed with each other and together, they helped define the city in a more complete way.

Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena, Colombia

 

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Quyen October 29, 2013 at 8:45 am

I love these series of photos. I love seeing the history and rough edges in the architecture.

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