Kevin Kunishi January 19, 2012Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Nicaragua.
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?”