Panama’s presence in the collective unconscious is most likely due to its canal, exotic sceneries and recent political history. In The Heat is a subjective depiction of the Panamanian social landscape. The title references the city’s humid climate, but also alludes to a state of tension that describes my bittersweet stay in a place I felt at odds with. The series interrogates how personal experience influences the ways one negotiates, and ultimately represents the landscape. As a consequence, the colorful Panama found in travel brochures is purposefully absent. I wanted to stay away from the typical imagery that the tourism industry emphasizes, in which color is used to promote prepackaged experiences, leaving out whatever may contradict that illusory lifestyle. I am interested in depicting spaces that are very present and common, but that somehow people don’t seem to notice. Sometimes, this mental blocking has to do with familiarity, although I believe these spaces are frequently ignored because they challenge conservative notions of progress and national identity in times of economic growth. The pictures, however, are not mere illustrations of my sentiments. What interests me is the relationship between landscape and state of mind: the understanding of pictures as a reflection of experience, an open-ended narrative that results from my prejudices and desires. Even though the pictures aren’t tied to a specific social critique, they expose some of the social values located in the urban environment.