PANDEMIC MOMENTS. LOVE WILL SAVE US
Photo Editorial by LIbertad Betancourt with her poems
It’s difficult to talk about Libertad Betancourt. Why? She is an amazing woman, Mexican but based in Houston, Texas, USA, full of talents and energy, you can’t describe her in a one word. She is not only a great photographer but also a writer, poet, radio speaker, business consultant, manager of Communication and Training, and actress. In the last months she has been working as presenter of Fairs and Book Festivals over the world. All her video you can check at Facebook page @feriasvirtualeslibertadbetancourt. She is also JL Interviews correspondent of Both Americas. In this editorial, Libertad, decided to show us her photographs realized during currently ongoing pandemic titled “Pandemic Moments. Love will save us”. Love is a constant message that she wants to hand over to the whole world. Believe her, love and art will save us for sure! Follow her: FB @libertad.betancourt.3 and IG @libertadbetancourtphotography
Why did you decide to do this pandemic report? Where did you take your photos? Who are the protagonists?
Photography is part of my daily life, it is a kind of blog of my feelings, emotions, knowledge, sensitivity and worldview; it is my interpretation of the visible and invisible captured by my mind, soul and heart. My camera is an inseparable companion and the pandemic is the new mysterious neighbor who moved into the neighborhood with us. Therefore, she walks through all my favorite places and inevitably I have run into her throughout the year in everyday life. She is the one that has crept into my photographs becoming the protagonist. Some of the photographs that I share with you today were taken during my isolation as the pandemic gripped the World. These images were created in Houston, San Antonio, Fredericksburg and Big Bend National Park, Texas USA. In my photography there is a single protagonist who encompasses everything: Life, with its tears and smiles!
Aún sigo saboreando la dulce savia prehispánica de tus labios de aguamiel en la tibieza del tiempo,
y sintiendo tus manos calientes como verdes pencas acariciando y envolviendo aterciopeladamente todo mi cuerpo.
El tlachiquero introduce su acocote pero Mayahuel se lo impide, la diosa mexica del maguey,
divinidad del mundo vegetal, diosa de la fertilidad, aliada de los amantes secretos nos protege.
Veo un ojo brillar en el centro de nuestra intimidad que se asemeja a un ave o flor naciente,
y leo en tu mirada el gran deseo de fermentarte en mi en un ritual sagrado que perdure eternamente.
I am still savoring the sweet pre-Hispanic sap of your mead lips in the warmth of time,
and feeling your hot hands like green stalks caressing and velvety enveloping my entire body.
The tlachiquero introduces his acocote but Mayahuel prevents it, the Mexican goddess of the maguey,
divinity of the plant world, goddess of fertility, ally of secret lovers, protects us.
I see an eye shine in the center of our intimacy that resembles a bird or a nascent flower,
and I read in your eyes the great desire to ferment you in me in a sacred ritual that lasts forever.
What is the message of your photos? Is there something good in this tragic situation?
My photography is not an articulated message. I do not intend to teach or convince anyone. It is the interpretation and gratitude of my “Amo Vivir” (I love living), a dance of energy, light and shade in which I share the mysteries that the universe reveals to me. I show the offerings of time and space that may go unnoticed in the eyes of others. I look at them, appreciate them and immortalize them in an image. The impetus for my artwork are my soul seasons. The communion with my internal dialogue, my world from the inside out and the universe responding to me. Love is the most important element that should rule everything, for me it is. Love is transcendent to me. With it, the situations of chaos always become lessons of wisdom, no matter how hard and devastating they are. The pandemic is an example in which love has been our balm, our source of power and hope in the midst of pain. Art comes from inner love. Love redeems us from death!
Dulce sabor embriagante son tus besos y alucinante tu recuerdo, eres mi raíz prohibida, mi ayahuasca,
mi viaje a una realidad aparte, mi códice secreto, danza de rito purificador para mi alma y todo mi cuerpo.
Sacerdotes y chamanes, tiene corazón este camino? Muéstrenme mis yoes que habitan internamente en la profundidad del silencio.
Evoco a la liberación de mi espíritu, templo de adoración, vida, muerte y redención.
Eres mi amor sacro, susurro divino, mi Xochipilli, principe de las flores, de la danza y la belleza, deidad del arte y del amor,
eres tú mi señor mi culto y adoración. Tiende un lecho de flores elevadoras de conciencia para los dioses de juego caleidoscopio de visiones coloridas,
y en ese extasis de linaje antiguo tómame por tuya.
Sweet intoxicating flavor are your kisses and your memory is amazing, you are my forbidden root, my ayahuasca,
my journey to a separate reality, my secret codex, a purifying rite dance for my soul and my whole body.
Priests and shamans, does this path have a heart? Show me my selves that dwell internally in the depth of silence.
I evoke the liberation of my spirit, temple of adoration, life, death and redemption.
You are my sacred love, divine whisper, my Xochipilli, prince of flowers, dance and beauty, deity of art and love,
you are my lord, my worship and adoration. Lay out a bed of consciousness-raising flowers for the kaleidoscope game gods of colorful visions,
and in that ancient lineage ecstasy take me for yours.
Why is poetry so important in your life?
Poetry, literature, philosophy, art and culture have been constant factors throughout my life. I wrote poetry from a very young age, and without having experienced what a kiss was, I was already writing about love at 11. I had great pillars in my life, my mother, my grandmothers, my brother and sisters, my paternal aunt Susana Montes de Oca; and each of them nurtured beauty, knowledge and magic into my integral development. Poetry is a fragment of my everything and at the same time is everything. Now, at this stage of my intellectual and spiritual maturity I have discovered how to intermingle my best talents to give life to new proposals: as a result, the combination of my poetry and photography. Not only that, but also the interaction with other artists such as Sandro Dall’Omo, a renowned Italian musician, Abel S. Badillo, a Mexican/American writer and Fabian Echávarri, a Mexican-American plastic artist. I faithfully believe that people must be multicultural and explore different areas to develop our full potential and thus expand fully. I am in the midst of a new awakening, in communion with my talents and in fusion with other artists, in what I have titled: Dance of Energies!
What does PHOTOGRAPHY mean for you?
It is my soul, my life captured in images, my eyes that see beyond a threshold or a limited periphery, photography allows me to reveal tiny details. It sometimes tells me, whimsically and in his own way, a story in which I only listen, capture and portray. It is an instrument of nature that teaches me to be part of a whole and not a fragment. It is therapy that makes me forget — visual meditation. A universal passport to virgin galaxies. An encounter with creativity in its most pure state. Photography is my life!
What kind of artist do you feel you are? What could you tell us about your art?
I love living. I am genuine. I capture and portray everything. From my composition everything is worthy of admiration because it is the perfect manifestation of life. I am a source of creativity that generates originality, sensitivity, passion and dedication. In simple terms, I do not try to imitate anyone. I believe in my own style and approach. I study. I prepare day by day in the spiritual and professional realms. I am always learning and exploring something new. I am activated by a landscape, abstract objects, the energy emanating from urban angels that I stumble upon in the streets, souls that tell me their life stories, spontaneity, ordinary objects such as screws, twisted wire, things, dusty, rusty, that I convert with my camera into something extraordinary. When I was a child, drawing and coloring, I would press so hard to get bright colors, the pencils would break. In photography I am still the same: I like to be dramatic in tones, lines, contrasts. I am unpredictable, daring, I throw myself to the ground among people. I stop at abandoned, forgotten spaces that I have called secret places, and on rare occasions, I have crossed limits in order to get a good shot, of course, always within the framework of ethics, respect and professionalism. My work is art, alone and fused, impregnated with love, energy, passion, life. Photography is I love living!
Written by Joanna Longawa