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Kevin Kunishi January 19, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Nicaragua.
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Victorio & Marcos Alaniz Benavidez,  Northern Nicaragua 2010

Kevin Kunishi (b.1975, USA) received his BA in History from University of California Santa Barbara in 2001 and his MFA from the Academy of Art University, San Francisco in 2011. Following his undergraduate studies, he traveled for six years, circled the world twice and explored 21 different countries. It was during this time that his fascination for the alchemy of photography flourished and became an all-consuming passion. In 2011 Kevin was awarded first place in The International Photography Awards and was the recipient of The Blue Earth Prize for Best Project Photography. His work has also been recognized by The New Yorker, American Photo Magazine, the New York Photo Festival, PDN, CMYK magazine, Photographer’s Forum and Prix de la Photographie, Paris (PX3).

About the Photograph:

“This photograph is from a larger body of work entitled “Los Restos de la Revolucion.” The series consists of portraits of the Sandinistas and their opposing Contra veterans, as well as artifacts and landscapes significant to the civil war that took place in Nicaragua during the 1980’s. After missing a Sandinista meeting at the local school in El Charcon, Victorio was arrested for suspicion of being a Contra collaborator. He spent a month in prison in the city of Jinotega. The cells were built underground and flooded almost to the ceiling every other day to torture the prisoners. He endured leeches; beatings and having bags filled with lye placed over his head until he couldn’t breathe. Interrogations were performed every night. He was told his family would be killed if he didn’t cooperate. When finally released, too weak to stand, he was dumped naked on the side of the road outside of Jinotega. Headlights appeared in the distance; miraculously, it was his neighbor driving by in a truck. The neighbor said, ‘Victorio you’re alive!’ Victorio responded, “Am I?”

Anna Maria Barry-Jester May 23, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Nicaragua.
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Chichigalpa, Nicaragua 2009

Anna Maria Barry-Jester (b. 1981, USA) is a documentary photographer focusing on the social and political determinants of health. She holds a BA from New York University in Latin American Studies and a Master of Public Health from Columbia University. She is also an editor with Burn magazine and has written for Utne, Connections magazine and taught photography courses for high school students at the Museum of Modern Art. Her work has been exhibited at the Noorderlicht Festival and she was an invited participant at LOOK Between in 2010.

About the Photograph:

“This picture was taken in a farming community near Chichigalpa, Nicaragua. At night, in the glow of the Toval family’s single light bulb and nine inch television, the kids are whisked away by telenovelas. Over the last few years, I have spent time photographing this family and community, locally nicknamed “La Isla de las Viudas,” The Island of Widows. An epidemic of kidney failure has killed thousands over the last decade, people as young as 23. The Toval children’s father died a few years ago of kidney failure, after 20 years working in the fields, and before reaching the age of 40. The community blames pesticides and working conditions in the nearby sugar cane fields, and the company says it’s genetics, environmental conditions, and alcoholism. But the certain reality is that almost every family in La Isla has lost someone in this epidemic. I plan to continue following this community, and documenting the lives of the children that are the next generation of cane cutters.”

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