Johanna Alarcón

Johanna Alarcón, Ecuador

“To me, reset is to start again at rock bottom.”

Johanna Alarcón is an Ecuadorian freelance photographer and educator focusing on socio-cultural and gender issues, primarily in Latin America.

In her 2020 Joop Swart Masterclass project, Johanna Alarcón explores the theme reset as the liberation of life in a context of social, racial, and gender inequalities that are deepened by the pandemic. She focuses on the search for harmony between human and nature relationships by documenting the lives of indigenous women who are guardians of water in the northern highlands of Ecuador. Her project aims to emphasize the connection between their femininity, the mountains, and the water, while also showing their struggle to defend the territory, knowledge, and future of their communities.

2020 Joop Swart Masterclass

For the first time, due to the current global health crisis, the Joop Swart Masterclass is taking place online over a period of four months, and 24 participants and eight masters have been selected to make the program more inclusive.

“I feel a deep commitment to my profession as a tool for reflexive consciousness about the world. I'm looking forward to learning how to open creative, educational, and collective spaces to expand the global impact of photography and storytelling. My personal goal is the creation of deep-felt stories with the challenge to make audiences identify with them. This experience will connect me with mentors, photographers, and editors who will be guides in my authorial, human, methodological, and conceptual development to form a decisive gaze in a diverse world,” she says.

The educational experience of the Joop Swart Masterclass is based on an assignment to produce a photo essay around a given theme. This year the theme is ‘Reset’.

“To me, reset is to start again at rock bottom. It is a need to act, enable a new way of perceiving, and feeling in harmony with the human and non human links that bring us together. Reset is the liberation of life by life itself in a context of inequality, and a search for a justice pact with ourselves, others, and the nature that sustains us,” she said.

From July to October 2020, the participants will work on their projects and receive mentorship and guidance from the mentors. The final projects will be presented on 29 October 2020. Learn more about the 2020 Joop Swart Masterclass