When ships carrying passengers or goods pass through the Panama Canal they unknowingly leave behind a trace. Despite the widespread wealth generated by the Canal, a main source of national income, it is only concentrated in the capital, Panama City. This increasingly tall, modern and crowded city is perceived by outsiders as an urban platform that sprung out amidst a jungle. In some ways, they are right. The influx of foreign capital into Panama overdevelops a fragment of the country while neglecting the majority of it. Consequently, Panama City becomes a place where tourists feel more at home than natives do. Being a Panamanian citizen myself, I marvel at these contradictions.

In my photographs I explore the landscape within the context of the historical, political, and economic processes that shape Panama. The images help me understand the complexities of development by documenting Panama as it succumbs to fast food restaurants, Hollywood films, and shopping malls.

Lorena Endara