With No Dar Papaya, the photographer Matthew O’Brien gives us his view of Colombia. In this series, which was shot with a Polaroid camera for its characteristic soft colours, he provides an antidote to the images of war, violence and misery that dominate the international media, and in Colombia are known as pornomiseria. Despite the violence and the deep chasm between the rich and poor, O’Brien saw how the Colombians lead their lives with considerable creativity, joy and feeling for humanity and beauty. No Dar Papaya is an expression meaning as much as ‘don’t show any weakness and don’t be an easy target’.

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About the Artist
Matthew O’Brien (b. 1966, United States) graduated from the University of California magna cum laude as a zoologist. He worked as a photography instructor in a California prison and at schools in the United States and Colombia, and since 1996 has taught at the University van California. O’Brien’s series No Dar Papaya is slated to appear in book form from the Colombian publisher Icono Editorial.