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Running-up 2007

Javier Arcenillas

City of Hope


In most of the Latin American capital cities, satellite communities that live from trash recollection and recycling programs are being formed. The work process is simple: searching for reusable materials such as plastic, steel, or glass to sell them to the great recycling corporations. This dangerous job allows hundreds of people to earn their living in this way, surviving unemployment and social care negligence. Children and women are those who spend more time on this arduous task.

La Esperanza in Guatemala City, La Duquesa in the Dominican Republic, or Acahualinca in Managua, are a true reflection of communities adapted to waste collection in landfills. A colony of prefabricated houses surrounds the U-shaped entrance and exit road to the landfill. They are neighbors of the waste, and for them, for the moment, there is no better way out. They are surrounded by rats and bad smells, in a thick and murky mini-city where families have nothing to eat. It is quite normal to see children with worms asking their parents for food that they cannot give them.


Humanist. Freelance photographer, member of Gea Photowords. He develops humanitarian essays where the main characters are integrated in societies that borders and sets upon any reason or (human) right in a world that becomes increasingly more and more indifferent.

He is a psychologist at the Complutense University of Madrid. He has won several international prizes, including The Arts Press Award, Kodak Young Photographer, European Social Fund Grant, Euro Press of Fujifilm, INJUVE, Foto Press Third Prize, Luis Valtueña of Médicos del Mundo, Journalism Doñana´s prize, Luis Ksado, Make History, UNICEF, World Photography of the Year, Fotoevidence, Finalist of the Leica Prize 2009 and Antropography 2010.

In recent years he has fulfilled photographic essays about Latin America outstanding "Territories"; in Jamaica he realized "Marihuana Traffic"; "Gladiators" from the Olympic School of Boxing in Havana and "Weapon Social Club" and love to arms in the USA society.

For his work with Médicos del Mundo about the Rubbish Cities in Central America, he has been a finalist for the Ojo de Pez Prize and his book "City Hope" summarizes his five years working on it. He has published in magazines a society portrait book "REVOLUZION" in which he sums up his daily activity alongside a photographic essay about charity in India titled "Kingdom Charity".

He is a regular photographer for Fronterad, (Global Group) and in Alcobendas´ Town Hall. His reports abroad can be found in some outstanding publications such as Time, Der Spiegel, Stern, Guatemala´s newspaper, or Miami Herald Magazine. Recently he has published "WELCOME" a book about the camp of refugees in Myanmar´s Rohingya in Kutupalong, aided Médicos sin Fronteras and worked on an article about shipbreakers in Asia, "ShipBreakers". Since the end of 2010 he´s been working on "SICARIOS". A violence and death story in Latin America shown in Photo España 2011.

Currently he is carrying out new ideas in parallel with traditional journalism to spread his projects and he is making up Audiovisual Projects with diplomatic work.