Colombia; From the Bottom to the Hilltop by Theo Gould

13th November 1985 was Colombia’s worst natural disaster. The volcano Nevado del Ruiz erupted near the towns of Armero, Chinchiná and Villamaría, killing around 23,000 people.
From the Bottom to the Hilltop | Theo Gould

The people of 13 de Noviembre have experienced hardships, ostracism and disaster – but is change on the horizon?

From the Bottom to the Hilltop | Theo Gould
From the Bottom to the Hilltop | Theo Gould

13th November 1985 was Colombia’s worst natural disaster. The volcano Nevado del Ruiz erupted near the towns of Armero, Chinchiná and Villamaría, killing around 23,000 people.

13 de Noviembre, named in memoriam of those that perished that tragic day in 1985, is also a barrio on the eastern border of the valleyed Colombian city of Medellin.

13 de Noviembre was originally an illegal settlement of refugees. It was given no governmental assistance for a number of years and was built with very little oversight. Since then, however, there has been a strong push by EPM, the state-owned water and energy provider to bring both into homes. However, even now 15% of the houses do not have running water or electricity.

Drunk on altitude and sitting giddy at a lofty height of nearly 1800m, the residents quite literally look down over the rest of the city. It is perched calamitously atop Comuna 8’s almost impossibly steep hills where the roads only go so far and even the most basic items have to be carried up — it truly is back-breaking work.

Until very recently Colombia had the highest number of displaced people on earth due to a combination of civil war, military and paramilitary groups driving people out of the countryside, drug-cartels appropriating land and natural disasters. Even now, it is only second to Syria. This issue has forced itself back into the spotlight recently because of the country’s failed peace referendum earlier this month. The United Nation’s High Commissioner called this tragedy Colombia’s “Invisible Crisis” due to the fact that the vast majority of people displaced are within their homeland. There are an estimated 5.7 million people displaced within Colombia.

From the Bottom to the Hilltop | Theo Gould
From the Bottom to the Hilltop | Theo Gould

The neighbourhood itself is formed of bric-a-brac housing and with largely corrugated iron roofs, and in some ways still has a very temporary feel to it. Mentioning the barrio to wealthier Colombians tends to draw mouth-covered gasps of “¡Cuídate!” — [Take care!]. Clearly, 13 de Noviembre has had a chequered past, but that is a far cry from my own experience. Mine is of being welcomed into people’s homes, children playing in the street, bars blaring out salsa at top volume and torrents of jokes being thrown from all angles. Walking past a tiendita selling empanadas, I hear the man on the left howling with laughter after saying, “¡Eh, cómo canta, el hijueputa!” to a young boy, which loosely translates as “Eh, the little motherfucker can sing!”

The way that I see it, 13 de Noviembre is a testament as to what can be done with little funding, basic materials and a community that helps one another, and should be recognised as such.

One thing I often forget, coming from a secular background, is how much of a role religion plays in people’s lives here. Speaking to a number of locals, I asked what the best thing that had ever happened to them. The overwhelming response was either “Christ” or “God. I visited a church, La Iglesia Movimiento Misionero Mundial, near the top of the mountain and experienced the passionate service first-hand. The sermons were every bit as fire and brimstone-esque as the God of the Old Testament.

From the Bottom to the Hilltop | Theo Gould
From the Bottom to the Hilltop | Theo Gould

For a time around 1990-1993, just before the death of Pablo Escobar, Medellín was the most dangerous city in the world. More than 6000 people were murdered annually. Drive-by shootings and bombings were frequent and indiscriminate. Governance had been lost in the city. The need for radical reform was urgent.

One of the masterminds behind the change was Mayor Fajardo, a maths professor who had no political experience before becoming mayor in 2003. He recognised that there was an economic and social divide between the more affluent parts of the city and the comunas that sprawled up the hills around it, but more importantly there was a geographical divide. The separate parts of the city stayed separate, there was no intermingling within the different classes. Fajardo realised that the situation could not possibly be solved by policy measures alone, but rather the solution would be achieved through urban design.

The authorities went about reorganising the fabric of the city by transforming Medellín’s public spaces into inclusive areas where people could come together, and, more vitally, integrating mobility systems. They planned a series of metros, bus lanes, cable cars, bridges, and even escalators that would eventually stitch the city together. Importantly Fajardo used workers from those areas he wanted to link to build the new infrastructure. This even meant dealing with criminal gangs to achieve his goal.

From the Bottom to the Hilltop | Theo Gould
From the Bottom to the Hilltop | Theo Gould

The project has been a phenomenal success and now even those in the furthest and most remote places in the city can travel to polar opposite sides of the city with ease and on a single fare. It has been such a triumph that Medellín this year was taken off the list of the World’s Most Dangerous Cities, having been deemed too safe to be judged as such. Less dangerous than St. Louis, Baltimore, Detroit and New Orleans in the U.S.A.

Currently, the only public form of transportation connecting 13 de Noviembre and the rest of the city is a bus that runs into the centre of the city. Winding up and down perilously precipitous and narrow streets, it transports thousands of residents to and from home and work. Finally, the cable-car line that is due to connect 13 de Noviembre to the rest of the city, will open later this year. With the ability to transport 1,800 people an hour, it will bring much needed economy to an area so long neglected.

From the Bottom to the Hilltop | Theo Gould
From the Bottom to the Hilltop | Theo Gould

7 8 9 10 11 12

From the Bottom to the Hilltop | Theo Gould
From the Bottom to the Hilltop | Theo Gould

From the Bottom to the Hilltop | Theo Gould
From the Bottom to the Hilltop | Theo Gould

From the Bottom to the Hilltop | Theo Gould
From the Bottom to the Hilltop | Theo Gould

From the Bottom to the Hilltop | Theo Gould

More Stories

A Himalayan Journey By Abhijit Bose

A Himalayan Journey By Abhijit Bose

The beauty of The Himalayan Region is its color and mood. I explored almost every season and made trips towards Terrain Region. It was a treat to my senses when I used to watch changes in color of a region just fifteen minutes away from another place getting washed in torrential rain. I realized nature as the biggest chameleon.
Underwater by Mike Potts

Underwater by Mike Potts

I see the water as a metaphor for a dream medium and I try to meet my subjects on that boundary and hope that we are able to take the viewer from tranquil peace to a burst of creation and back again. Underwater project was selected and published in our print edition 22.
A Space Odyssey-style evolution by Sonia Payes

A Space Odyssey-style evolution by Sonia Payes

A Space Odyssey-style evolution, is Alchemy (2021), a collection of 14 vibrant chromogenic prints. Each one reiterates the same basic composition and design, with Ilana’s avatar recurring indomitably across two orderly rows. 

Nude Photography Awards

We invite you to participate in the first edition
of the Nude Photography Awards. We are looking
for the best nude picture for this year, 2022.

Our call is open to any artistic interpretation of nude photography.

DEADLINE | SATURDAY, DECEMBER 31, 2022

PHOTO BY © OLIVIER VALSECCHI
Turin; You Do Not See by Riccardo Surace

Turin; You Do Not See by Riccardo Surace

The project titled What You Do Not See, Unordinary tells the story of the City of Turin, my city, seen through the eyes of passersby. All photographs have been captured with a long exposure technique; in other words, I mixed then history of the city with my own history, my life experience. In fact, after five years spent fighting a disease, my artistic purpose is primarily that of representing the all too familiar feeling when, as a young man wandering through the city, one feels invisible, and yet still he is thoroughly involved in its daily frenzy.
Fragments by Anne-Marie Giroux.

Fragments by Anne-Marie Giroux.

Fragments is a project within a project. Since 2020, I have been working on an installation project entitled Drifts Drifting Phase II which will be presented at Espace Produit Rien in Montréal in April 2023. The installation proposes a questioning of human and artistic drift, theme that I have been exploring since 2014. Adopting a critical and mocking approach on the relevance of the very essence of the art object, I also question the relevance of being an artist, and particularly, the relevance of being a woman artist.
Exclusive interview with Henriëtte HJIMvanGasteren

Exclusive interview with Henriëtte HJIMvanGasteren

I have had the privilege to interview Henriëtte HJIMvanGasteren, formerly known as Lilith, for Dodho Magazine. In this honest and sincere conversation, she shows us why she is so interesting as a creator, and also as an artist persona.

Featured Stories

Paul Eis ; The architecture photographer

Paul Eis ; The architecture photographer

In Paul Eis' Instagram project, he gathers images of buildings from mainly Berlin, Hamburg and some other cities, which are cut of their original context and reworked with bright colors.
Albinism by Georgina Goodwin

Albinism by Georgina Goodwin

Georgina Goodwin / These images are of people with Albinism taken on assignment for CNN during the world's first Mr and Ms Albinism Pageant held in October 2016 in Nairobi, Kenya.
The Athenians by Socrates Baltagiannis

The Athenians by Socrates Baltagiannis

Athens, capital of Greece and one of the most historic cities in the world. Also, one of the cities that the media has turn their spotlights on for almost 6 years now, due to the economic crisis.
Petricor by Joaquin Bas Ros

Petricor by Joaquin Bas Ros

The 20 photographs that compose this portfolio are part of those included in Petricor, a photobook that aims to be a mirror of what is sadly beginning to be known as "Empty Spain".
Woman by Zuzu Valla

Woman by Zuzu Valla

They say,Life is a fightíí and I´ve learned how to fight in the ring of life from my parents. Tibor Sopor, multiple boxing champion of Czechoslovakia and my mum who gave me all her love.
The Mara by Anup Shah

The Mara by Anup Shah

I live in the wild for long stretches of time. Inevitably, I fall under the spell of wild animals. It dawns on me that these are intelligent, emotional, social and personable beings. I connect with their sentience.
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/nude-banner.jpg

We invite you to participate in the first edition of the Nude Photography Awards. Our call is open to any artistic interpretation of nude photography.

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/BAnImage.jpg

ImageRights provides intelligent image search and copyright enforcement services to photo agencies and professional photographers worldwide.

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/mono2022.jpg

The best 100 images along with the winning images published in the yearly book “Monochromatic – Best Photographers of 2022”

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/banner23.jpg

Call For Entries #23 | After 22 editions and more than 100 published photographers, our print edition has proven to be a simply effective promotional channel.

Grabarka by Xavier Ferrer Chust

Grabarka by Xavier Ferrer Chust

This is the most important location of Orthodox worship in Poland. Every year Grabarka is visited by more than 10,000 pilgrims. The Holy Mount Grabarka is an important place for pilgrimages by Orthodox believers in Poland
One Shot by Max Hirshfeld

One Shot by Max Hirshfeld

Propelled by a sense of immediacy, these photos of everyday people in everyday places attempt to reveal what we often fail to see.
UFO: Un-identified by Annick Donkers

UFO: Un-identified by Annick Donkers

The actual idea for the series started after visiting the International UFO Congress in Phoenix. I was impressed by the multitude of people attracted to this event and the secrecy surrounding the theme.
Oshichi by Michiko Chiyoda

Oshichi by Michiko Chiyoda

‘Oshichi’ is a name of the doll and ‘she’ played as a 16-year-old girl who was put to death by burning at the stake for committing arson.
The Tribal Heartland of India by Tania Chatterjee

The Tribal Heartland of India by Tania Chatterjee

Bastar is the tribal heartland and treasure trove of ancient Indian culture. Today Bastar, is a part of the State of Chhattisgarh, India. It is a land of undiscovered surprises, with mysterious forests, breath-taking waterfalls
Stories Retold by Lukas Vasilikos

Stories Retold by Lukas Vasilikos

His influences from Henri Cartier-Bresson to André Kertész and from Garry Winogrand to Josef Koudelka and Roy De Carava, as well as from the great Greek photographers, older and contemporary such as Nikos Economopoulos, enrich the inspirations and form the photographic aesthetics of the new author.

Trending Stories

Embryo by Federico Massimiliano Mozzano

Embryo by Federico Massimiliano Mozzano

Embryo is the choice between freedom and constraint, action and reaction. We are born naked and we dress experiences, positive and negative.
Interview with Roger Ballen, One of the most influential photographic artists of the 21st century

Interview with Roger Ballen, One of the most influential photographic artists of the 21st century

Roger Ballen was born in New York in 1950 but for over 30 years he has lived and worked in South Africa. His work as a geologist took him out into the countryside and led him to take up his camera and explore the hidden world of small South African towns.
Natural habitat; Escape from the Museum of Zoology by Ani Zur

Natural habitat; Escape from the Museum of Zoology by Ani Zur

Civilized states are willing to finance museums where you can see rare species of fauna. Special decorations, high quality stuffed animals, made by the best craftsmen. For each exhibit the natural habitat is recreated.
Looking in | Lost society by Mieke Douglas

Looking in | Lost society by Mieke Douglas

Peering into dark, empty spaces. On the outside, looking in. Camera pressed up to smeared, steamy glass. Glimpses of shiny Christmas decorations; cleaning products and hand sanitisers; abandoned drinks and occasional humour. Grasping at fragments. 
Portraits by Neil Kremer & Cory Johnson

Portraits by Neil Kremer & Cory Johnson

Character-based portraits and narrative-driven scenes are our thing. Sometimes quirky, sometimes serious, occasionally scripted, and often just REAL - they specialize in capturing authentic moments in even the most manufactured of settings.
Photography and painting; The fantasy of Chiara Fersini

Photography and painting; The fantasy of Chiara Fersini

Fantasy is my drug. The world today is so grey and sad, and fantasy is the only thing that makes me see something different and good.
Floating by Kicki Lundgren

Floating by Kicki Lundgren

Floating is my most recent project published by the publishing company Journal, Gösta Flemming, at Polycopiés in Paris this year. The whole thing started in the beginning of the 90s when I photographed a man at a local swimming facility with my newly purchased Nikon AW.
Travel photography; Africa Through my lens by Frederick van Heerden

Travel photography; Africa Through my lens by Frederick van Heerden

Frederick van Heerden Lives in South Africa. He has a passion & love for nature & the wildlife in Africa. He captures the beauty of creation through his lens.

Other Stories

stay in touch
Join our mailing list and we'll keep you up to date with all the latest stories, opportunities, calls and more.
We use Sendinblue as our marketing platform. By Clicking below to submit this form, you acknowledge that the information you provided will be transferred to Sendinblue for processing in accordance with their terms of use
We’d love to
Thank you for subscribing!
Submission
Dodho Magazine accepts submissions from emerging and professional photographers from around the world.
Their projects can be published among the best photographers and be viewed by the best professionals in the industry and thousands of photography enthusiasts. Dodho magazine reserves the right to accept or reject any submitted project. Due to the large number of presentations received daily and the need to treat them with the greatest respect and the time necessary for a correct interpretation our average response time is around 5/10 business days in the case of being accepted.
- Between 10/30 images of your best images, in case your project contains a greater number of images which are part of the same indivisible body of work will also be accepted. You must send the images in jpg format to 1200px and 72dpi and quality 9. (No borders or watermarks)
- A short biography along with your photograph. (It must be written in the third person)
- Title and full text of the project with a minimum length of 300 words. (Texts with lesser number of words will not be accepted)
This is the information you need to start preparing your project for its presentation
To send it, you must compress the folder in .ZIP format and use our Wetransfer channel specially dedicated to the reception of works. Links or projects in PDF format will not be accepted. All presentations are carefully reviewed based on their content and final quality of the project or portfolio. If your work is selected for publication in the online version, it will be communicated to you via email and subsequently it will be published.
Contact
How can we help? Got an idea or something you'd like share? Please use the adjacent form, or contact contact@dodho.com
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.
Submission
Dodho Magazine accepts submissions from emerging and professional photographers from around the world.
Their projects can be published among the best photographers and be viewed by the best professionals in the industry and thousands of photography enthusiasts. Dodho magazine reserves the right to accept or reject any submitted project. Due to the large number of presentations received daily and the need to treat them with the greatest respect and the time necessary for a correct interpretation our average response time is around 5/10 business days in the case of being accepted. This is the information you need to start preparing your project for its presentation.
To send it, you must compress the folder in .ZIP format and use our Wetransfer channel specially dedicated to the reception of works. Links or projects in PDF format will not be accepted. All presentations are carefully reviewed based on their content and final quality of the project or portfolio. If your work is selected for publication in the online version, it will be communicated to you via email and subsequently it will be published.
Get in Touch
How can we help? Got an idea or something you'd like share? Please use the adjacent form, or contact hello@dodho.com
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.