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Dance is my Reason

Jair F. Coll’s project “B-Migrant” follows young Venezuelan break dancers who relocated to Colombia to follow their passion.

The discourse that opens the door immigration is linked to the fundamental right to survival, and among the millions of Venezuelans who left their country since the beginning of the economical and political crisis, most of them left because they were deprived of basic needs. A simplified worldview of this phenomenon, though, implies that migrants don’t need, or have the right to, much more than being able to survive. Jair F. Coll flips this paradigm as he follows young Venezuelans in Colombia, for a project that focuses on their dream and passion: break dance.

Heber López, 29, performs a “head spin” at a traffic light in the south of Cali during a street show aimed at earning money.

Gabriel Arocha’s Venezuelan passport. The b-boy has travelled to more than 12 countries in Latin America and Europe for breaking competitions.

Members of the Rebel Warrior crew chat on an avenue in western Cali, after completing a tour of performances in front of different restaurants in the city.

B-boys from Venezuela show the palms of their hands after more than 30 short shows at a traffic light located in the south of Cali.

Joseph Azuaje, or b-boy Alf, performs a freeze during a battle between Chicos del Barrio, made up of Colombians and Venezuelans, and a crew from Bogotá, during the FreeStyle Session Latin America. The event took place in Medellín.

Joseph Azuaje, b-boy Alf, watches one of the rounds of the FreeStyle Session Latin America.

The title of the project plays with the terms “B-Boy” and “B-Girl”, used to define break dancers all over the world. Intimate and complicit, the photos follow their steps during training and shows, young loves and defiance, offering an insider’s look into a cool, moving, passionate community.

Alfonso Berti Ibañe, AKKA Murdeking, kisses his wife Daniela Mariceth Corcho on a street in west Cali. The couple met in 2016 in Barranquilla, one the first cities where Murdeking arrived after leaving Naguanagua, Venezuela.

Venezuelan b-boys count the money collected after a night of performances in front of restaurants in western Cali. Although there are days when each member can earn $40.000 Colombian pesos, which makes for a good profit, on a bad night they might make half of that amount.

Heber López marks with chalk the 30 performances he did at a traffic light in the south of Cali, Colombia. When a group of four or five b-boys works that way, each of them can earn between $15.000 and $40.000 colombian pesos in about three hours.

Laura Mámbel, 30, poses for a portrait on a roof of El Rincón neighborhood, in southwest Medellín. Her goal is having an economically sustainable life through dance.

Dubraska Monterrey hugs her boyfriend Ibsen, while Alf looks out onto the street from the window of an apartment located in the Santa Lucía neighborhood, south of Bogotá. That night they slept under a check for $11 million pesos won at the Hip Hop al Parque competition of 2022.

You can follow Jair F. Coll’s work on his website.

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