photo essay

Destination Capital

by Flavia Sánchez & Francisco Vásquez

In this collaboration between photography and architecture, Flavia and Francisco take us on a journey through the economic, social and topographical fabric that shapes our disarticulated cities

Scraps of territories, disarticulated fragments, groves, attempts, transfers, windows, showcases, transactions, abandonments, deterioration, distributions, rush, encounters, razor wires, risk, loss, rivers, games, street sales, chants, gazes to the past, infinite space of information and linked stories.

There are cities traced like labyrinths, others are perfect threads, reticles with perfect imperfections and defined limits; this one is like a graffiti over another one, hundreds or thousands of graffiti with different typographies and colors overlapped in time and space. It is a diffused center, an agglomerate of infrastructures and structures without legible hierarchy, neither vertical nor horizontal. These intersections somehow make this city have a recognizable image, as to say, an identity. 


This city is inexplicable, despite its transformation through time, there are layers that always show themselves, traces of a life from another era, another rhythm, other materialities, layers of contrasting typologies, some devastated by urban, economic, and natural phenomena… Others driven by contemporary speed, images without content or perhaps with a meaning already outdated, decadent.


Here it is easy to get lost, there are places that seem abandoned and on the next street a new building is built, facing the sidewalk where it is impossible to pass but from where it is possible to see a strong green color that seems to come out of nowhere, where a river hides, or an abandoned campus.


Trade, transport and economic activity seem to be the engines of this place, this city is being built from business, although it appears not to be exactly a collective construct, but a group of individual efforts and that of other giant economic entities or forces that move the threads of local urbanism, as if speculation, the profitability of the land and the real estate business took over the less chaotic areas. We begin to find places that come from other realities but without articulation, without any relation to a context from which they are also part, thus finding greater marginalities and exclusion.


Walking between what we find and feeling part of this makes us understand that there are uncontrollable forces, but within this movement there are pauses, it seems possible to find some answers that allow us to enjoy common spaces, comfortable ones, because there is great beauty inside this daily chaos, in this superposition of stains, typographies, tipologies, colors, smells forms and people. There is a beauty difficult to understand as the interweaving itself that shapes it, this richness also makes us think of connections, interrelations and possible spaces for collective contact, because here it is possible to visualize how diverse we all are in this place and how strong this common space can be in the perception of a more integrated collective, a more human one.



Flavia Sánchez



Francisco Vásquez


2019. San José, Costa Rica


Published in July, 2019

Volume 2, Issue 6


our recommendations



A tour through the labyrinth of San Jose’s festivities



A critical look at Costa Rica’s green discourse



A performative documentary on a neglected neighbor



A consideration on the paradoxes of virtual experiences

Ir arriba