CO-OP Insights: Colectivo +1

by Unseen July 07 2017

In the lead up to Unseen 2017, we are proud to introduce a new addition to our programme, CO-OP. Unseen CO-OP will bring together thirteen pioneering collectives in the immersive space of the Transformatorhuis at the Westergasfabriek, where ideas and creativity can be exchanged alongside new commercial formats. In this weekly feature, Unseen is pleased to host CO-OP Insights, a series of interviews where you can meet and find out more about the collectives we have selected.

This week we are thrilled to introduce you to Colectivo +1, founded by Santiago Escobar-Jaramillo, Federico Pardo, Juanita Escobar, Federico Ríos and Jorge Panchoaga in Bogotà, Colombia, 2013.  Inspired by this concept of collaboration, the collective works with other groups and organisations, where they continuously invite what they call the "plus one".

What is the main reason you formed the collective?
Colectivo +1 was originally formed by Santiago Escobar-Jaramillo, Federico Ríos and Jorge Panchoaga, who had the idea of collaborating together on projects and building synergies around photography. Juanita Escobar and Federico Pardo joined the collective later on. Over the past few years the collective has been working together to develop and produce “20 FOTÓGRAFOS”. With this project, we wanted to rethink photography education and to reinvigorate the creative process of its production. In an 8-day immersive workshop, we bring together photo editors, instructors and students from Latin American countries who work alongside local communities to build collaborative networks and to strengthen the debate around contemporary photography.

DAy 1_a_UNSEEN_Colectivo+1_002_0.jpgPhoto: Final group photo in the port of Tlacotalpan, México, during the “20 Photographers” photo workshop, 2016 © Collectivo +1

What sets you apart from other collectives?
We are constantly on the look out for collaboration with new photographers, institutions or artists. Instead of focusing on our individualities, we focus on fostering new relationships that will help enlarge the photo community in Colombia and Latin America. Since the “20 FOTOGRAFOS” workshop, we have become particularly interested in the educational and social aspect of photography and we are now very interested in designing innovative educational experiences for new generations of photographers.

day 2_c2_UNSEEN_Colectivo+1_024 - Federico Pardo_0.jpgPhoto: Ice Shanties © Federico Pardo

Could you give us an insight into what you have in store for Unseen CO-OP 2017?
At Unseen CO-OP 2017 we will showcase several projects that will provide a wide overview on the collectives activities. We will combine recent work by our members with the results of the workshops. Each member of the collective has conducted research that highlights specific thematic subjects of Columbia, the region where we live, ranging from the symbolic protest against violence of drug cartels in “Ruina” by Santiago Escobar-Jaramillo to the third and last version of “20 FOTOGRAFOS”. Our main goal at Unseen is to expand on collaborations and invite new colleagues to take part in the 2018 version of the “20 FOTOGRAFOS” workshop.