Emerging Photographer Fund – 2014 Finalist
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EPF 2014 finalist
The Other Side Of The Tower
The tower of David is a skyscraper located in downtown Caracas, Venezuela. The structure is 195 meters high, consists of two towers, and contains 46 floors. Construction began in 1990, but after a devastating economic crisis hit Venezuela in 1994, construction was abandoned. The building was 60% complete. 13 years later, in 2007, construction began again. This time however, it was not for its original purpose. Instead of office spaces, approximately 2,000 families invaded the space illegally.
According to the latest census taken by the inhabitants, there are around 1,300 families currently living there. The Tower of David has become an emblematic symbol of the city of Caracas. It represents the hopes of Caracas to remain a major economic center, and the failure to do so.
In this same way, the Tower of David has come to represent Venezuela as a whole. The Tower has a reputation for harboring the most dangerous of criminals; ironically, the inhabitants are drawn to the Tower due to its security. For them, the Tower is their part in the Bolivarian Revolution. Their way of life is a fight against the social parameters in which they are viewed as a dysfunctional community.
The Tower remains a closed society, as they are afraid of being discriminated against, because of their living arrangements. While the take over of the Tower, and their way of life remain controversial, the reality is that the inhabitants are simply people who are searching for a sense of belonging, and a place to call home.
Alejandro Cegarra was born in 1989, in Caracas, Venezuela, which is the city he still calls home.
In 2012 he started filling in for other photographers at the largest newspaper in Venezuela, ‘Ultimas Noticias’ or ‘Latest News’. Since November of 2013, Alejandro has been working as a stringer for Associated Press, also works with Vice news and Al Jazeera magazine.
In early 2014 he was selected to exhibit in the PhotoEspana Festival, and chosen by the Magnum Photo Agency as part of the ’30 Under 30′ contest.
His series ‘The Other Side of the Tower of David’ won 3rd place in the Sony World Photography Awards in the ‘Contemporary Issues’ category, winner of the Leica Oscar Barnack Newcomer Award and the winner of the Ian Parry Scholarship 2014.
His work ‘The other side of the Tower’ has been exhibit in England, France, Germany, Spain, Brazil and Venezuela.