Rotterdam Photo

Felipe Aguilar

Reality Change

Migration is the enduring narrative of humanity, from nomadic tribes on, or driven by wars, environmental disasters, or social upheaval, Man has always been on the move. Within a few generations in most families, there’s a pivotal journey that reshapes destinies. For instance, my maternal grandfather, a German Jew, made the voyage to Colombia at the onset of Nazism. On my paternal side, the family had to relocate several times during Colombia’s turbulent “La Violencia” era.

‘Reality Change’ pays tribute to this migratory spirit, with a focus on the Cuban Diaspora, prominent in Miami, the place I migrated to. In 2022, a record 200,000 Cubans arrived in the USA, with many risking their lives on homemade boats to reach Florida’s shores. Upon arrival, they rush to find their contacts, leaving the boats ashore for a day or two before the US Coast Guard tows and dismantles them. I embarked on a mission to document and preserve these transient yet life-altering artefacts.

This project honours the intertwined human stories within these boats, recognizing their significance as tangible symbols of hope amid adversity. It underscores their importance in the local community and in the broader context of global migration. The project stands as testament to the ingenuity and determination required to transform one’s reality.

Complementing the photographic prints, the project features an Augmented Reality interaction, allowing viewers to explore and discover intricate details of the vessels in 3D.

Find out more: 


Instagram: @felipeaguilarart



Rotterdam Photo

Vierhavensstraat 56, 3029 BG Rotterdam