In 2023, Felipe Romero Beltrán won the 17th edition of the Foam Paul Huf Award. Now Foam is proud to announce his solo exhibition Dialect. The exhibition captures the journey of a group of young Moroccan men after their arrival from a dangerous journey crossing the sea to Spain. Romero Beltrán creates a multimedia narrative of the boys becoming young men, navigating a period of legal limbo in Spain. Through his work, Romero Beltrán sheds light on issues such as alienation and social inequity of migrants in today’s society.
Born in Colombia, Romero Beltrán often focuses in his practice on societal issues where he follows his subjects for several years. For Dialect he documented the lives of these young adults for three years –the period it takes to go through the legal process of obtaining citizenship. After a perilous journey where they have crossed the Strait of Gibraltar; the maritime border between Morocco and Spain, these young men settled in Seville. While their legal status is being reviewed, these young men find themselves in a void: estranged from the familiarity of their home country and separated from a new society they can’t take part in. Even when they manage to step out of the legal vacuum, they remain ‘the others’ , experiencing a sense of alienation in this newly adopted country.
Romero Beltrán relies on a strong, almost cinematic framing in his work. He combines documentary photography with elements of performance and choreography. Alongside his photography, the exhibition will showcase videowork and include an installation as a response to the inaccessible paperwork this legal process brings along. Felipe Romero Beltrán displays a powerful humane manner in his practice: the subject and method of his work are intrinsically connected to him as a person and artist. His own background as a migrant from Colombia and his sincere affection towards his subjects guide his vision and perspective.
Dialect is a powerful pièce the resistance against the complex and arduous journey of those who have been displaced. A group of people that is growing with each passing year.