Hallway, Castillo Marroquín, Chía, Cundinamarca from the project Narcos & Homes (2020). Photo: Yamile Calderón

Yamile Calderón: Narcos & Homes at Oslo Negativ

Fotografihuset is pleased to present Yamile Calderón’s photo series Narcos & Homes during the Oslo Negativ photo festival, which takes place in the Old Library from the 1st to the 24th of October 2021.

Oslo Negativ will be an arena that presents photographers, both national and international, young and experienced, with important and engaging stories to tell. Det Gamle Biblioteket’s premises enable inspiring meetings between photographs, photographers and the festival audience. In addition to photo exhibitions, there will be talks, lectures, our own festival cafe and positive club.

Oslo Negativ will use the entire building, giving the public the opportunity to see the library’s many hidden passages and darkrooms for the first time. With its 12,000 square meters, there is much that has never been exposed to visitors. The photographs will be exhibited in the “as is” room, in all its charm and history as a library, from 1933 until its closure in 2020.

Read more about Oslo Negativ here.

Narcos & Homes by Yamile Calderón

Photographer Yamile Calderón was born in Colombia and lives and works in Oslo. Her artistic work is inspired by childhood memories and personal stories. Calderón approaches the documentary genre from a subjective perspective, and uses visual and narrative strategies to explore how reality is interpreted.

In the photo series “Narcos & Homes”, Calderón has taken pictures of what were once the homes of Colombian drug lords and which have later been seized by the country’s authorities. The project is personal, and the artist draws on memories from his upbringing in Colombia in the 80s and 90s, when the drug trade was at its most intense. With his father as his assistant, Calderón has photographed seven properties and one storage room of personal objects in various parts of the country.

The project is collected in a photo book consisting of 63 photographs. The photographs show properties – once eccentric and luxurious manors – now lying in ruins. Her pictures are presented together with short texts based on the artist’s personal experiences from life in Colombia between 1985 and 2001; a very raw and violent period in the country’s history. The photo book’s foreword is written by Nelson Gónzalez Ortega, professor of Latin American literature and culture at the University of Oslo. The Narcos & Homes project is supported by the Norwegian Cultural Council and the Norwegian Photography Fund.


Yamile Calderón has studied photography at the Bergen Academy of the Arts. Among her more recent projects are the photo book “Narcos & Homes” and the video installation “Accidentally I got a GoPro”, which was awarded the photo art prize for the Visual Artists’ Aid Fund. Calderón has participated in several group exhibitions, exhibited at festivals, and had solo exhibitions. She has presented her work internationally, including in Hong Kong, Helsinki, Copenhagen, New York and Oslo. In Oslo, she has exhibited at Oslo Art Association, Noplace, Fotogalleriet, BOA and Galleri Brandstrup.

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