Overview participating photographers
The video portraits are of the victims of excessive government violence during the protests that took place at the start of 2014. Briceño asked that they look quietly into the camera, while reliving the experiences in their mind of what they went through at the time, like a silent witness.
Nothing evokes fear more than an impenetrable silence that doesn’t want to be broken. Oil interests are too great, there is too much money at stake to listen. The pain of the victims remains unheard.
Oscar B. Castillo
This work reflects the experiences of a society filled with violence, present in all levels of daily existence. A fight that takes place on so many levels, criminal, political, economic, social, moral, that it can’t be called a war. By connecting different events with one another, Castillo wants to come to a better understanding of cause and consequence, of how one has come to this current tragedy. The pain is given a human face in these images.
The everyday presence of violence is as certain as the rising of the sun. Gangs clash in the streets, with each other, with the police, with the army. They all have power and abuse it. Amidst all of this is the normal citizen, armed with weapons to protect themselves. Whether it is the loss of a friend or relative, everyone here has been touched by violence. You don’t know who to trust, you’re always looking over your shoulder, uncertain as to what will happen next. Violence has become normal, death hangs in the air.
These cruel images symbolise the state violence behind the facade of a tropical utopia. Garrido depicts the female forms as an embodiment of change, of hate and love, death and rebirth.
Saturna refers to the State eating its own children. Defending the poor turned into corruption and inequality. La Virgen de Caracas deals with the core of everyday violence, not only political, but also the silent violence of malnourishment, lack of medicine, everyday powerlessness. In La sacerdotisa llorando sangre the virgin priestess is feeding blood, it stands for the government which doesn’t use his rich natural resources for the people, but for his own personal gain.
Cesta Básica portrays daily groceries, which have been identified by the government as essential for daily existence. Paradoxically, the list of daily necessities is equal to the sum of 18 minimum wage monthly incomes. They are presented here as untouchable offers, photograms that are a shadow of the object itself.
In the video Oferta y Demanda women fight over food at the supermarkets where they spend hours queuing every day. The work is recorded with a smartphone, because filming is officially prohibited in the long queues.
In 2014, the streets of Venezuela became a stage for the battle between students and the national guard. The images quickly spread on social media. The world could experience the first deaths in real time. Human rights organisations spoke of 850 people injured, 157 cases of abuse and torture, 3127 random arrests, and 41 deaths. Toro sums this up with images of objects left behind on the battle scene, an inventory of violence. These are images that were made in the past, but stand just as much for the present.
The Margarita Island Correctional Centre is a prison that, like many in Venezuela, is essentially controlled and run by a core of imprisoned men with criminal records. After four months of intense negotiations and perseverance, Granado was able to be allowed inside the Center -almost on a daily basis and as a participant observer- to document life inside it and the nuances of a habitat which entails idiosyncratic hierarchies and relative freedoms "between bars". âThis, Granado recorded employing her own 'memory card' in a compact camera owned -and lent to her- by one the prisoners. Her work portrays a complex and hybrid reality that challenges traditional notions of surveillance, control, punishment, leisure and collective organisation.
In a special part, multiple photographers portray the on-going daily protests. This presentation for Noorderlicht is compiled by Perez, and will be updated on a weekly basis during the exhibition period. With work by Leo Alvarez, Carlos Becerra, Marco Bello, Fabiola Ferrero, Vladimir Marcano, Federico Parra and Fabian Solymar.