Tacaná is a small border town in the high mountains of Guatemala. In Mam, mayan language spoken in the region, Tacaná means “fire inside the house”.
Antonio started this project three years ago, when he metaphorically met my grandfather. He never had any reference from him. His family accidentally revealed him a secret: his grandfather was exiled in Mexico. He has fled from Tacaná, his hometown, due to his political involvement during the Ubiquista dictatorship in Guatemala from 1931 to 1944.
Why was the dictatorship persecuting him?
What kind of violence did my grandfather face?
Why was his identity document disrupted, the only one which is archived in the guatemalan official records, so that he can no longer be identified?
Thinking differently can be the trigger that starts the repressive apparatus of the State to systematically eliminate my grandfather?
Also to envelop everything around him in a cloud of fear and darkness?
Tacaná emerges from Antonio’s personal need to explore through a photographical perspective, what is idealized and the self-censorship of memory to evoke a story that after 80 years refuses to be told: the brutality of dictatorship and exile.
Antonio Rodríguez is a photographer based in Berlin.
After his studies as a designer, he had the opportunity to travel around Latinamerica, Europe and North Africa. His curiosity and interest in telling stories through images, brought him to become a documentary photography in Spain, where he was granted to develop a documentary project about migrations.
He focus his work on themes as memory, migration and territory, developing his artwork through photographic production and the activation of the archive imagery.
Among other grants, he received in 2020 the New Talent Award 2020 powered by Canon. Also his work has been part in different collective shows in Spain, Germany and Guatemala.