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Federico Estol

Shine Heroes

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Federico Estol works as a visual storyteller producing stories in Latin America. His long-term projects are focused on the relationship between cultural identity, inequality and social justice. Over the last three years he has collaborated extensively with a group of shoe-shiners associated with the social organisation Hormigón Armado, which was founded with a view to supporting this workforce. Hormigón Armado launched a newspaper some 16 years ago, 6,000 copies of which are sold each month, with the proceeds from each sale providing additional income to nearly 60 families of shoe-shiners. Estol’s idea was to build a special edition of this newspaper through a participatory workshop-based process, which invited the shoe-shiners to imagine a creative new version of their story. Borrowing from the visual language of comic books and graphic novels, and incorporating elements of day-to-day life in El Alto, Estol constructed a portrayal based on heroism.