Butterflies, Floods and Spain

In high school, my history teachers loved to do these exercises called “Links”. They would write three terms related to what we had studied that could range from and artists’ name, a movement, an event, or even a specific date! Our task as students was to think of how these events were connected and defend our ideas in a paragraph or so. Today I present you with my own version of a “Link”:


Butterflies, Floods, and Spain.


Give up? All three are references to some component of ECO, a photography exhibition that recently opened at American University’s Katzen Art Center. The show is the latest event organized by the Embassy of Spain and showcases the work of photography collectives (groups of photographers) from Europe and Latin America. Each collective was challenged to develop a series of photos that expresses their joint view on the current relationship between man and the environment.

This is one of the pictures from ECO and exemplifies what the artist calls the frontier between humans and nature. Here, children attempt to play soccer on the banks of a flooding river. Both threaten one another, yet neither is ready to cooperate completely.

We had the chance to preview the exhibit even before the opening reception. This was a great chance to talk with the curator, Claudi Carreras, and hear more about the collection. The great thing about ECO is that it is one of those truly provocative works of art that makes you think about a greater social issue, unlike those big panels of canvas with a few dots or stripes which we like to call “modern art”. If you’re in the DC area and want to give your heart and mind a great workout, visit ECO for FREE!

Like the first picture, this one, from a different collective, also explores the destruction of boundaries we attempt to create between ourselves and the natural world.


– Jake & Maddy