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Inspired by Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude, Luis Cobelo started a visual exploration from the little Colombian village of Aracataca in search of himself and the unexpected.

Macondo is the imaginary village where Gabriel Garcia Marquez set his most iconic novel. There, everything is possible. Gypsies’ fairs, incredible inventions, plagues, love, dreams, and the tragicomedy of the human experience give life to a world hanging in the balance between fantasy and reality. This universe inspired Venezuelan photographer Luis Cobelo, who embraced a liberating visual journey in search of that magic realism you can only find in places and people across the Latin American continent. After meeting him in person and seeing his powerful exhibition at Cortona On The Move around a month ago, I got back in touch with him to learn more.

Hola Luis! Let’s start with the project’s name:Zurumbático. What does it mean and where does it come from?

I found this word in the book One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez. I started reading it over and over again, around ten times, at the beginning of 2016. Motivated by the novel, I travelled to Colombia and the region of Aracataca, the little town that inspired Marquez’s novel, to produce a personal, poetic, deep and emotional body of work. Zurumbático is a Spanish word that means “person who acts silly; a ninny, stunned, slow, sombre, melancholic, enigmatic, half drunk, half mad, and with a bad or changing temper”. In many ways, a lot of my personality is defined by this kind of trance status.Zurumbático gives me a complete visualisation of what should be a photographic project: broad, dynamic, fun and liberating. It has given me the possibility to create diverse platforms of expression. It is so far the best title for a project I have ever chosen, and the best thing is that you do not have to read Garcia Marquez’s book to understand anything or everything. Just feel it and that’s all.