FLORA ILUMINADA y sus alrededores mágicos

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Three photographic series compose this book by Ernesto Carozzo, they celebrate the closeness to nature that peoples outside the Western way of life practiced long time ago before the European conqueror broke into America. These images constitute a basic, artistic and pedagogical catalog of a world omitted by the official Peru: its popular pharmacopoeia. Carozzo praises the plant and the healer, the experience transmitted orally and generationally, and the power of knowledge that restores the health of millions of beings who, simply, have healed themselves long time ago with it. In order to survive the current climatic disorders and their pandemics, droughts, famines, it is urgent to stop the aggression against Pachamama (Mother Earth) and revalue the "alternative" medicine, which the "modern" market despises. At every step, degrading territories and snatching fundamental rights, the "developmentalist" march devastates primary forests, condemns them to desertification and threatens the wise biological heritage guarded by its users, the original ethnic minorities. Thus, clandestinely and miraculously, on the other shore, the vernacular natural pharmacy subsists, marginal, closely surrounded by the State and the health trade. The herbalists or healers in these photographs —whose hands we see appear setting each specimen on fire— stubbornly resist the sanitary and moral anxiety that hangs over the species. Those master healers, experts in herbs, have been walking the entire Peru since its beginnings, to cure with their remedies. Carozzo's photographs highlight the kindness and efficiency of this generous craft, linking bodies and spirits. In each natural region, connoisseurs of plants treasure and exchange centuries-old knowledge, proven healing powers to prevent, heal, reduce inflammation, nourish, regularize, regenerate, strengthen the strong, risky and fragile body machine and, perhaps, even reach the secrets that the Ayahuasca deigns to reveal, lit by another marvelous plant, the Chacruna: the finishing touch with which Carozzo closes this garden, converted into a gallery. Formal simplicity, frontality, even light over any other consideration: the attributes of these photos concur in each variation of the theme, while the operator disappears before the cracked mud, the smooth wall or the grain of the wooden slats. Infront the tripod, bunches of vegetables parade held by formidable Andean, Coastal or Amazonian therapists, emblematic servants of humanity. Ricardo Wieese