(SIETE CIELO POR ARRIBA Y SIETE CIELOS POR ABAJO)
Religions of our Time
PHOTOS AND ESSAY BY FRANCISCO ELIAS PRADA: On the individual as Faith... I have infinite faith, I follow the trail of human gesture, shooting my camera after the gesture that speaks to me, the gesture that tells me and reconstructs the memory of the beings. Its a path protected by my ancestors and my gods, inherited faith from magical religious beliefs of my grandparents. It seems like it was just yesterday, when as a child, I came to magic village of my ancestors, Escuque named after the Escuqueyes Indians which means the Land of Clouds. It was a sacred space where the most important altar once existed of these indigenous peoples of western Venezuela. There they adored the Queen Icaque, powerful deity of this noble warrior Village, which fiercely resisted the Spanish invaders.
There, I listened to the sweet voice of my grandmother Uvaldina, who maternally advised me to be very careful in the river and it's wells, which could turn me into a fish, if I did not respect the sacred time of Holy Week. The people of this village have always been believers, their imaginations are powerful and in them resides a unique faith, diverse in expression. One day my grandparents left to the other worlds. Their voice was not lost in time, but it lives in me, every moment. They remain suspended in a magical place doing good to all.
This deep-rooted faith, manifests in me as a living myth and its' magic accompanies and protects me. I approach these sacred places in search of their strength from the beings of light. I ask with respect for everyone who suffers in silence and for myself, for peace and protection. Everyday I give thanks to life, to be able to feel the heat of the light and be filled with hopes and dreams. I'm one more who dedicates his arms, his soul, his eyes, his spirit to fight for the good of all. I profess my faith in my own way, in a continuous human engagement with another human beings, regardless of their ethnic, religious, intellectual , social conditions. I appreciate humanity in its integral dimension as a man and as a woman.
My faith gives meaning to my life as perceived through my eyes and captured in my pictures. As I approach another with no pretensions, I run the risk of having no other claim but to offer my hand and presenting him with a gesture or a look. The grandparents and the gods are taking care of me and know that I'm following the quest to be better, to be more tolerant and solitary. I unify my faith with the others and I sing to the sacred and the infinite...
Translated by ARTE AMAZONIA