Paola Bascon’s diploma exhibition features a collection of miniature objects, videos and narrated stories about the Alasitas Festival. This ceremony takes place every year on January 24th in the Bolivian city ofLa Paz. On this day, the residents ofLaPaz arrive at Alasitas Market offering a wide range of miniature goods: from houses, shops and cars to money, passports, furniture and tools. This colorful miniature market offers everything your heart desires. At twelve noon, people crowd in front of the church gate, lifting up their acquired miniatures and trying to catch some of the holy water distributed by the priest over the crowd. The miniatures are blessed here and though their wishes have already been granted in miniature, this should help the wishes to really come true.
The god of abundance is worshiped, but it is a god born of want. Contrary to capitalist consumer behaviour, in Alasitas the act of buying is ritualized and thus charged with religious significance. Wishes are formulated in the community and the act of desire is celebrated as a ritual. What unites the community is the belief that they can influence life through these small objects.