THE FORGOTTEN ONES
THAILAND, INDIA, SENEGAL
BY SAMUEL CUETO
FROM OCT. 24th TO DEC. 08th, 2019
Samuel Cueto is a Spanish-Algerian artist born in 1977.
After having learned the ropes in the world of free fight and hip hop, Samuel Cueto gradually switched to film photography on the advice of photographer Armen Djerrahian “When you take digital photos you make images, when you make film, you take photos. ”
Street portrait artist, Samuel Cueto has concentrated his work on the social outcast, the invisible who live far from city centers. Originally from the working-class area of this "forgotten" France, the photographer logically pays tribute to his fellows, of whom no one seems to care anymore.
Samuel Cueto also tells us about him through the portraits he takes of people with apparently chaotic journeys: damaged but authentic beings, who exert a magnetic beauty on the spectator. While many photographers have tried to capture the world of ghettos and suburbs without succeeding in going beyond the exoticism of safari photography, Samuel Cueto is not afraid of getting his hands dirty and showing the dirty and grimy backside of our society. The photographer crystallizes with his camera our most current issues: acceptance of the other in his difference, his experience, and his origins.
After a first exhibition in 2016 at the Argentic Gallery consecrated to his “Thai” work, which will be presented in Arles, Samuel Cueto returns in 2018 to the 193 Gallery with the exhibition “The forgotten ones” which highlights his most beautiful photos from Thailand, India and Senegal, taken between 2014 and 2018.
Samuel Cueto is a Thailand lover. He went there 6 times between 2014 and 2016 to take his series of photographs which gave rise to his first major exhibition “City of Smiles”.
Mainly taken in the Bangkok, Pattaya and Phuket suburbs, these photos are far from the postcard landscapes: local gangs, traffickers of all kinds, prostitutes live in another reality, yet a few minutes from idyllic beaches.
Samuel Cueto pays tribute to these marginalized people, to their fragility, to their humanity.
His trip to India in March 2018 focused on the cities of Calcutta and Varanassi.
The desire to discover Calcutta came to him from a report on Mother Teresa. Fascinated by her refusal of fatality and her fight for the most underprivileged, Samuel Cueto wanted to discover all these Teresa mothers who fight daily in the street, in schools, to give a chance to those who were born in bad caste .
In these cities without tourists, locals do not understand what the photographer comes to do “Why are you coming here? There is nothing to do, there are only poor people here ... "
He interacts with children who sell a little food to earn their living, night workers who survive in unhealthy slums, and only go out at night like bats.
In Varanassi, Samuel Cueto meets many people, including a postcard seller who was burnt with acid by her alcoholic husband when she asked for a divorce. No rights for the street people, the husband was not even fined. Faced with the harshness of these lives, a last ride on the mystical Ganges, ends a journey full of encounters and emotions.
Fan of the great Malick Sidibé and Seydou Keita, Samuel Cueto wanted to pay tribute to West Africa.
Samuel Cueto was marked by the welcome and the extreme kindness of the Senegalese. For once, even the police greeted him with disconcerting kindness. Leaving with his team of photographers, they went in Ouakam - Dakar suburb - to see life, the real one.
He spends time with Senegalese rastas and “Baye Fall” (Senegalese Muslims who have their own interpretation of Islam) and share magical moments in huge sound systems of over 1000 people on the beach. In Ouakam rough areas, he focuses his work on Koranic schools children where lessons are given directly in an outdoor courtyard. Smiles are everywhere, happiness sometimes comes from little ...
In 2019, Samuel Cueto plans to do a long trip to Jamaica and will come back this time with many color film photos.