Guatemala Multi Houses

Guatemala multi houses309
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3 Essays

  1. Monique Centrone | Sociologist, Stony Brook University says:

    The brilliant colors of the Guatemalan homes seem to represent the perpetual struggle of poverty-stricken people. The color is likely a light that inspires both hope and joy for local people. At the same time, it reflects their history and their own inner lightness despite the unending suffering of life in the developing world.

  2. Nail Farkhatdinov | State University-Higher School of Economics, Moscow says:

    The role of colors in culture is rather specific. On the one hand, people do not think much about colors in their everyday life. On the other hand, they pay great attention to them when choosing such goods as clothes and home furnishings. When a stranger visits an alien culture s/he understands that his/her color perception is rather different from the perception of those native to the culture. Natives pay attention to some colors and ignore others. Color perception becomes a part of tradition. These photos depict the variety of colors used by Guatemalans.

    Putting these photos together we can notice that sets of colors used in decorating clothes, buses, and buildings are rather similar, with the palettes of colors being extremely varied.. There are enormous gradations of red, blue, yellow on the clothes, the buildings, and to a lesser extent, the buses.

    These photos illustrate a link between traditional culture and globalization of cultures. We can see people in traditional clothes, but a similar color spectrum decorates the buses. Although vehicles are artifacts of modern civilization, the traditions of the Guatemalans transform them and they are assimilated in the structure of traditions. Buses decorated in this way, far from arousing discomfort in traditional people, become a part of their national culture thanks to this transformation.

  3. S. James Press | University of California at Riverside says:

    For me, these pictures of dwellings in different cultures are a reflection of the differences in income and standard of living of peoples across the world. Each house represents a summary of life in that part of the world. I remember being shown around a one room house for many people, in a village in Zimbabwe. The “Cuban Blue Street” took me back to the poverty I saw in Cuba, Central America, Brazil, and elsewhere in Latin America. The Guatemalan houses, by contrast, reminded me of the contrast in housing that people prefer, regardless of wealth. People are different, and like to remain so.

    The Mondrian window is fascinating. It is the essence of the combination of art and science. There is a science to arranging different squares of colors to make a pattern, but the art is found in the combination of the arrangement of colors and squares to be pleasing to the eye, and yet functional. It shows that the path between art and science often is blurred by a natural continuity that was understood by the photographer, Rachel Tanur, and one which pervaded and unified all of her architecture, her photography, and her legal work.

    The “African Village,” with the view of the variously shaped rooftops, reminds me of the explanation I was given of how a census was carried out in the South African homelands under apartheid. When I asked what method was used in South Africa to determine the population of a Black homeland I was told that they flew over the area in an airplane, took pictures, and counted the number of roofs. This includes the many roofs made out of a single section of corrugated aluminum. Then they estimated the maximum number of people who could possibly be living under such a roof, and multiplied the two figures.