From El Salvador to Abu Dhabi

It is a long way from home. However, I am at home in Abu Dhabi. The differences and the similarities can be explained with images. Images of life, of colour,of smiles.

Images have always been part of my life. They represent a moment, a feeling, a thought suspended in time.  

Images transcend its subject, and its symbolic meaning will continue to grow. No amount of talking will undo the lasting impact that images have to offer
El Salvador, the country where I come from, is full of untapped vision. The colours are bright and strong. Life is pregnant with power imagery that will remain for a long time. El Salvador is a land of contrast, and exuberant colours from a peaceful blue to a mysterious dark green. There are images that represent the contrast of life, the abundance of wealth and poverty and the solitude of the people even though their smiles and friendliness reflect their true nature. My country is known as the land of the hammocks because every year when the rainy season begins there will be a tremor or small earthquake and at the end of the rainy season there will be another tremor or small earthquake and thus keep everything in a swing movement – this is how the people know the rainy season has started or ended.

To my surprise, even from worlds apart, deep inside we are the same. We are people who want to do their best. We each want to work, smile, reach out and have an impact on someone. From El Salvador to Abu Dhabi, we are people looking for better future.

In this collection of photos, I have tried to extend myself to the limit of each colour so I am able to touch people’s feelings; it is my wish to cause, through colours, a reaction, an emotion. It does not matter if it is a good feeling or a bad one as long as there is a feeling. I want to avoid indifference. I want to conquer the cold stare of people and dare to say in words and colours what is inside each of us.

With the images I present to you, I dare to touch each of you and for each of you to react.

I was born in a country of exuberance of colours, where the sun shines almost every single day of the year and the colours are bright and shiny just like here in the UAE. The only difference is that here I have learned to enjoy browns, blacks, and the other side of the scale of colours. I love being able to look at the endless sky in the desert where the blue and the brown become one. I am home away from home.
The spectrum of colours is endless and they are worthwhile to explore. They are not limited to our imagination. They go beyond and farther than our mind could think.

I hope you enjoy the journey of colours as I have enjoyed exploring the browns and yellows and each of the other colours.

Cibely was born in 1960 in El Salvador. She studied photography at the American University in Washington DC while she finished her degree in Economics at the same university. She has been painting since 1996 while she and her family lived in Brazil. In 2002, they moved to Germany and in 2005 they moved to the United Arab Emirates. 

She completed an undergraduate education in Economics at the American University of Washington D.C. and went back to El Salvador to continue with graduate studies in Theology and Political Economy at the Jesuit University of El Salvador. Cibely then worked in the Ministry of Planning as special aid to the Secretary of Planning. As her interests in this area developed, she became employed by two Italian consulting companies working as a consultant when they helped to rebuild the city of San Salvador after the 1986 earthquake. This led on to joint project between the private sector and the Union workers in helping define and carry out development programmes for the poor areas of El Salvador.