Foturí, a photographer from overseas
babelmed - 13/08/2015
Luis Navarro Vega dreamed of the painting, drawing and the light of Van Gogh, Rembrandt and Degas since his childhood in Antofagasta in northern Chile. He went on to study art, but in 1973 the coup against Salvador Allende and the bloody dictatorship under General Augusto Pinochet destroyed his dream. Luis fighted back by dedicating himself to photography in a country held hostage. First he started looking for the "desaparecidos", victims of the coup, and then decided to portray and tell the nomadic lives of gypsies in Chile. In this "deeply unfair" world, Luis Navarro Vega found solidarity within the Roma communities.
A discovery that arose from a meeting, when in the center of Santiago he saw three Gypsy girls sitting on the steps. He started a friendship with Carmen Milanovic and her large family. Luis became the "foturi friend", the photographer friend in Romany language. From then on for thirty years Luis has told the story of a persecuted people "fleeing Europe and then arriving in the Caribbean - says the photographer - where they decided not to stay for fear of crocodiles and snakes. So they went down to Argentina and Chile, and found the lands where they finally settled."
Now this long journey is collected in a book available in bookstores in Spain, following the successful photo exhibition in Santiago: "Foturí", published by Ocho Libros.
"I like the colors, how they move and how they speak" says Luis Navarro, in the story of his life-long friendship.