“If I Forget You, Rosario” is an ongoing exploration of my mother’s enigmatic past in Uruguay. It is my attempt at understanding the paradox of a place that keeps shifting despite the memory that somehow preserves it. Growing up, my mother told me little about her past. I knew her hometown of Rosario to be vitally important, but the contents of her life were always veiled. Eventually, my disconnect became too self-evident, so I spent nearly a year navigating Uruguay myself.
This project is a fragmented interpretation of my mother’s history––of all the people she loved and left: the denizens and ghosts who give Rosario its flavor. My images examine the interplay between three generations and their relationship to the town that threads their lives together.
Rosario is at once suspended in time and marked by it. The place appears almost untouched, but the people go on passing and changing. Many of the beloved figures from my mother’s youth are now dead, while others have aged and born children. My images grope for the Uruguay of other eras, and they accept the inability to understand a past that is both concealed and altered by time and memory.
– Antonio Ysursa is a Basque-Uruguayan photographer based in New York City whose works primarily focuses on portrait photography and storytelling.