Updated: Jul 18, 2019
Daniel Caballero Zurita is a self-taught photographer. His photographs straddles between reportage photojournalism and personal projects describing his struggles with his identity. Born and raised in Bolivia, Zurita relocated to Paris to further his interest in photojournalism at the International School of Photography. Zurita cites his early days of photography to sneaking shots when his mother is not looking. "I took my mother's point and shoot camera, which she hid in her drawer. I could only see the photos when they were revealed, it was a moment of ambivalence, I was glad to see the photos but at the same time afraid because they were going to scold me, since we were living through a period of economic crisis and the rolls were destined to special moments like birthdays, Christmas, sports exams, competitions, etc."
Zurita's latest project 94200 is two projects in one. "I made this project trying to help myself to get along with the self-exile, the place and also with the winter that affected me like never before. This is why I divided the project into two segments - Winter and Spring because it was the time that took me to feel as part of this city."
Can you share with us a little more about your creative process of 94200?
It all started the day I felt more affected by the confinement I submitted to - fleeing from the cold of winter and the fear of relating to such different people, in a language I did not understand very well. Starting the project was a way of forcing me to leave the four walls and find beauty within what I considered so tedious at that time.The 94200 Winter and the Spring are two parts of a single project in which I wanted to express my apparition. My final, unconscious intention was to discover what I felt. I was a strange object in Ivry's landscape and the language barrier kept me away from people so my only distraction apart from school and work was this project.
What does the difference between Spring and Winter mean?
Winter was before I felt comfortable with me being in Ivry and Paris. Spring was when that all changed.
As both a person and as a photographer, what does it mean to own a zip code?
Being in France meant for me, having left everything behind to start a new life. Being in the 94200, it was more than a code, it was the uncertainty of a beginning. It was the irony of knowing where I was located, without knowing where I was.
How do you feel your photography has changed over time? It has helped me to realize that photography is only a tool, it is the means and not the end. The reason for the photo is the most difficult part of all because it involves feeling, knowledge and destruction of paradigms that interferes in the understanding of the subject. This key to learning is the strongest evolution in which my work is sustained over time, since it has gone from seeking the improvement of the use of the camera to expressing ideas with photography.
What do you miss most about Bolivia?
Whenever I'm not in Bolivia I'm thinking about my family. The name of my country, for me, is synonymous with family, fraternal and filial love and a set of imperfections that I miss so much.
What is your relationship with Paris now?
Of utopia and platonic love.
What are you up to these days?
I am currently working on a personal project about my mother. I was dealing with the health problems of my mother who was in Bolivia and also personal problems, which affected me greatly and I had to purge myself.