The life-size sculptures by Swiss-Ecuadorian artist Alice Trepp were created as part of the art project La carga, which launched more than ten years ago. The standing or sitting figures made of fiberglass are hand-painted in detail and depict portraits of women of the Afro-Ecuadorian community living in the Valle del Chota, a valley located in the north of Ecuador, which is regarded as one of the poorest regions in the country.  

The title La carga has an ambiguous meaning. The term can be translated as “load” or “freight” and refers to a physical presence, specifically to food and other articles that the depicted subjects balance, as is the custom in African countries, on their heads. On the other hand, the term means “burden” and makes allusion to a socio-economic reality, the harsh daily life and related worries and problems of the represented women. Mostly single mothers, they earn their modest living by selling fruit, vegetables, grains or other products, such as shoes, at the markets around the Valle del Chota. Interview-based texts accompany each sculpture, providing information for the viewer not only about the women’s difficult living circumstances, but also about their desires, hopes and dreams.  

Trepp’s project La carga places the central focus on Afro-Ecuadorian women, a marginalized minority in Ecuador, thereby making a significant contribution to intercultural understanding.

After stops in various cities in Ecuador and Cuba, in the spring of 2018 the gallery SACCHETTI is showing the figures of the sculptural ensemble La carga A for the first time in Europe.