Tom Griggs – City of eternal spring
In 2010 I immigrated to Medellín, Colombia – my wife’s hometown – when we both received teaching positions at the same university, impossible in the United States in the embers of its economic downturn.
The photographs I have made here weave a subjective, autobiographical and lyrical response to my experience of the city from the people, chance interactions and spaces that have defined my new life. Made from a point of intimacy created through an expanded interaction with the city, the project is also marked by the detachment inherent in living an uprooted adulthood in a landscape that holds no reference to my past and by my inescapable position here as foreigner. The images explore and question the overlapping of the narratives of self and place, tying my immigration into the city’s renaissance: a shared rebirth, however halting and incomplete.
In addition to being a personal exploration of the City of Eternal Spring– as Medellín is known – and our fused narratives, this project also substantively augments the shallow range of media and artistic images that represent the present-day city. To that end, this project re-images and expands the visual paradigm of the metropolis for those who still view it through its history of cocaine, cartels and crucifixes, neither glorifying its current state nor remaining focused on its history, allowing it to be better seen for what it is – not for what it was – at an important moment in the city’s history as it emerges from a troubled past and reconnects with the international community.
This project is ongoing.
More images on www.tomgriggs.net. Tom Griggs lives in Medellín, Colombia where he teaches photography at La Fundación Universitaria Bellas Artes. He also runs the inspirational photographic website fototazo. He holds both an MFA and a BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design as well as a BA from Wesleyan University. He grew up in St. Louis Park, Minnesota.