Unforgettable Queens

Unforgettable Queens is a research and creative production project based on the study of the Revista CROMOS archive, one of the most influential variety magazines in Colombia, which ruled the public visual space in the country for more than fifty years. This investigation is be focuse on how the iconography of the Colombian woman was constructed by the magazine from the early 1970’s to the 1990´s. One of my interested is how this female archetype became a tool for solace aimed at a wide population, permanently confronted with an awkward reality given the dark and complex political circumstances during those decades in this country.

CROMOS was a magazine with articles that heavily featured photography, hence the slogan “La actualidad ilustrada”, which translates to “The illustrated present”. The word Cromos alludes to an album of stamps or stickers. Arguably analogous to the way the magazine produced multiple disjointed narratives.

At the same time Cromos influenced the role of women in society, mythologising the private life of celebrities, desire and love, sexuality, motherhood and personal relationships. The telenovelas widely promoted by the magazine were also a massive mirror of the feminine, developing their story, their morals, their aesthetics and directing the reader, mainly, towards the idyllic representation of beauty queens.

This is a work in progress.

“I’m trying to grasp a world in all its silences and its brutality. Can you grasp a world when you’re no longer tied to it by some kind of ideological enthusiasm, or by traditional passions? Can things “tell” themselves through stories and fragments?

Cool Memories, Jean Baudrillard

Unforgettable Queens

Unforgettable Queens is a research and creative production project based on the study of the Revista CROMOS archive, one of the most influential variety magazines in Colombia, which ruled the public visual space in the country for more than fifty years. This investigation is be focuse on how the iconography of the Colombian woman was constructed by the magazine from the early 1970’s to the 1990´s. One of my interested is how this female archetype became a tool for solace aimed at a wide population, permanently confronted with an awkward reality given the dark and complex political circumstances during those decades in this country.

CROMOS was a magazine with articles that heavily featured photography, hence the slogan “La actualidad ilustrada”, which translates to “The illustrated present”. The word Cromos alludes to an album of stamps or stickers. Arguably analogous to the way the magazine produced multiple disjointed narratives.

At the same time Cromos influenced the role of women in society, mythologising the private life of celebrities, desire and love, sexuality, motherhood and personal relationships. The telenovelas widely promoted by the magazine were also a massive mirror of the feminine, developing their story, their morals, their aesthetics and directing the reader, mainly, towards the idyllic representation of beauty queens.

This is a work in progress.

“I’m trying to grasp a world in all its silences and its brutality. Can you grasp a world when you’re no longer tied to it by some kind of ideological enthusiasm, or by traditional passions? Can things “tell” themselves through stories and fragments?

Cool Memories, Jean Baudrillard

Unforgettable Queens by Karen Paulina Biswell
Unforgettable Queens by Karen Paulina Biswell