Heidi Harf

Ongoing personal project

This project emerged from my desire to push my artistic boundaries, experimenting with color, imagery and storytelling. Collaborating with my friend Karol, whose socio-economic and racial identity differs completely from mine, we embarked on creating these photos infused with the concept of magical realism.

Our collaboration delved into our diverse perspectives on Colombia, exploring our loves, hates, frustrations, and dreams for the country. Cali, where I initiated the project serves as a lush, magical paradise, where Mango trees line the streets and melodies can be heard on every corner. Colombians take pride in their diversity, resilience, joy and unity, ranking among the happiest countries globally in 2016.

However, beneath this richness, dreams and smiles a prevailing sadness persists. Colombia grapples with its turbulent past and present. While the developed world advances in technology (and do I dare say ideology), Colombia lags behind struggling to provide basic needs such as education, healthcare and shelter (as I write, this sounds a bit like USA). Violence fueled by paramilitaries, the military and the FARC, continues in the countryside, forcing people to flee their homes. Though cocaine remains a prominent export, today, it is more lucrative to be in the government than the cocane trade. That says a lot.

I left Colombia in May 2021 and this project has not advanced. Maybe one day it will.