Saturday, August 16, 2008

Cinemotion Rising Art

(Below the introduction on CRA you will find the photo expositions. If you`d like to see my other blogs, you can click on: View my complete profile, on the right side of the page, next to my photo)

CRA is a one man´s company that was founded in 2001 by Matthias de Hoogh.

After graduating as a journalist on television and criminality Matthias travelled to Asia and Central America. On these travels he started focussing different on the world by exploring photography.

Matthias has been living for over 5 years in Guatemala where he started a Youth Hostel (

In his first years in Guatemala Matthias was fortunate enough to work for two Guatemalan Non Governmental Organizations. He did various photography and webdesign projects for them. (

These organizations worked with returned refugees from the civil war and with farmers that were living deep in the Peten jungle. For Matthias it was a unique opportunity to really step out of the tourist bubble and be absorbed by the real Guatemala with all its wonders but also with all its scars from the armed conflict that lasted for over 36 years.

Matthias interviewed local farmers, ex guerilla members, old soldiers, ex pac members (civil army) and refugees and was deeply impressed and touched by their stories. Some of these interviews are documented here: (click on ´agriculture´ and then choose ´experiences´)

Matthias saw with his own eyes the problems that local farmers daily encounter, like nutritional problems, health problems, low access to education and high levels of analphabetism...

Indigenous people have been the target of racism and to the present day are stuck in a backward position despite all the promises that were made for improvement when the peace agreements were signed in 1996.

¨On this blog I have made a small exposition of my time with all these wonderfull people that have made my life in Guatemala so meaningfull and full of growth. Through these photos I want to share their smiles and their sorrow with you. The real Guatemala...¨

Below you will find all the expositions.

Cinemotion Rising Art
Capturing emotions in constant motion

The returned refugees of La Quetzal, 10 years later

Guatemala has been in a civil war for 36 years. In the bloody conflict over 200.000 people fled to refugee camps in Chiapas. When the peace agreements were signed most of the refugees slowly came back to their home-land.

They settled together in little refugee villages deep in the Peten jungle. The first of these villages that was build is La Quetzal. They started out with nothing.. We visited them exactly ten years later to see how they are living now.

El camino hacia el futuro mejor

Early in the morning. The children are on their way to school. A new school is now being build outside of the village.


Pascal and his father are cleaning their lands to prepare for a new season of growing maize.


Three sisters walk back from the river, carefully balancing a heavy water jar on their heads.

El puente al juego

Straight after school the kids run down to the river. As their moms wash the clothes they spend most of their afternoon playing in the water.

La Milpa

This girl comes back from the cornfields. She uses the two sticks to make holes in the ground to sow new corn.

El Rio de Oro

The happy woman is balancing a jar of water she got from the river near the village.


A girl from the village of La Quetzal is trying to comfort her baby brother who is crying his lungs out.

La honda

Kids are playing with a slingshot next to the river. La Quetzal is a village located in the middle of the dense jungle and life is abundant here...

Pura vida

None of the kids wear shoes in La Quetzal.


Sombras del pasado

The boy enjoys the morning sun as he walks past the building of the cooperative...

Mayan sombrero

Boy uses a plastic bowl as a hat to escape from the strong sun

My Guatemalan Family

In 2003 I spend a month living with a local family in the village of San Antonio Aguas Calientes. This indigenous family received me in their home as if I was their son. I was touched by their open hearts and kindness.

Building families

Delfino is working on the foreground making little indigenous families out of reed that they will later try to sell to tourists in Antigua. A very precise and delicate job. Making one family like this is more or less a days work. They sell them for more or less $ 4 US.

Less teeth, more joy!

Grandma Feliciana is 93 years old. She is highly respected by everyone in the family. Even though she is getting a little weak she is always helping out in the house. I never saw an old woman who was so full of joy.

Hidden smile

San Antonio Aguas Calientes, 2004

We all win...

Before the elections in 2003... The sticker in front of Manuelito says: With Berger we all win! The family holds hope that with a new president things will change for the better... Most of the indigenous people of Guatemala still live in extreme poverty and are being marginated and discriminated.

Tortillas todos los dias

Son levin is waiting for lunch at the kitchen table. The hot tortillas are on the table covered by a bright typical cloth.

La abuela feliz

Grandma Feliciana is weaving in the garden of the house. Later her daughter will try to sell the clothes at the market in Antigua to tourists.

Happy garden

The young girl Fanny is standing in the little medicinal garden and proudly shows me a `granada` fruit she picked from the tree.


The familia Perez is very united. And it starts from early age. Irma holds her daughter close to her chest, day and night.

(Flowers of Guatemala) The people of Guate


An indigenous woman from one of the surrounding villages is selling her own grown avocados in Antigua to the restaurants. The basket she is balancing on her head weighs so much that I couldn`t carry it without hurting my neck.

Nueva Juventud

A young girl at the meeting of the FRG Faction, a party with a black history. The leader, Rios Montt, was the general during the so called scorched earth politics in the early eighties in the civil war. Under his rulership tens of thousands of innocent indigenous people got killed by brutalaties of the army.

The fact that Rios Montt is being held responsible for acts of genocide didn`t stop him to run for president however in the elections of 2003. He didn`t win.

Crown of absorbtion

The mayan traditions and indigenous culture is slowly being absorbed by, and replaced with, the western vision of development. All over the country big American cooperations as Walmart or Mc Donalds are arising in rapid tempo.


Three sisters posing in front of their house in the village of Huacut, Peten, Guatemala, 2003

Passing timeless

An old local of Antigua is passing the morning relaxing on a bench of `La Plaza Central`.



This girl is dreaming away as she is softly held by her mother during a women meeting in the village centre.

Hasta La Victoria

Don Fabian is working on the land. Though many things were promised to them after the peace agreements were signed, most of the farmers in Guatemala still live in deep poverty. They try to hold on to the vision of Che Guevara as they hope for more justice in the country.


Young Indian girl showing the core essence of emptyness... Picture taken south of Calcutta at the Sunderban Islands in India by Stijn de Corte.

© Stijndecorte Photoghraphy (

Curious dwarf

A Sapa Indigenous woman is strolling through the market carrying her son on her back. North Vietnam, 2002

Between passion and depression

Meditating monk in a monestary in Luang Phabang, Laos. (2002)

Gaia at its best (Nature of Guatemala)


It is af if time has stood still.... At lake Atitlan the men head out early in the morning to fish in their traditional ways with canoes.


Lake Atitlan, Sunrise


Peten Jungle

Glowing morning

Climbing the Pacaya volcano near Antigua... The sun appears behind one of the many surrounding volcanoes and the valleys are glowing in a mysterious yellow fog.

Yum K'aax

Since ancient times corn is the most important Maya food and thus the god of corn, Yum K'aax, is the most important of the Maya gods. Each kernel of corn is considered sacred to the Maya and not to be wasted because it not only contains the power to sustain man but also represents the cycle of birth, life, death, and rebirth.