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Photographer's Note

I was a bit disappointed in Tate Modern, but there were some works that I found impressive. Here is one.
"Requiem NN" by Juan Manuel Echavarria.

If one is interested in the story, here it is from https://onartandaesthetics.com/2021/02/21/requiem-nn-by-juan-manuel-echavarria-addressing-the-endless-drug-war-in-colombia/.

揑 was born in Medell韓 in 1947. Coincidence or not, my personal history runs parallel to the violence in Colombia. Since the year of my birth, the country has never known long-lasting peace, says Juan Manuel Echavarr韆, who, for the past two decades has addressed the dread and human tragedy of the endless drug war in Colombia through photography and video.

In 2006, after his first visit to Puerto Berr韔, a town on the banks of the Magdalena River, Echavarr韆 set up the foundation Puntos de Encuentro to give scholarships to students from rural areas, invisible victims of the drug war. Through 2013, he has taken multiple journeys to document a cemetery in the town. Within the cemetery, a particularly colourful mausoleum stands apart from the others. The tombs are marked with the letters NN: Ning鷑 Nombre桸o Name.
The people of Puerto Berr韔 save the nameless bodies from the waters of the Magdalena and bury them in the cemetery. Then they perform a second ritual. A NN can be 揺scogido敆chosen梑y someone who agrees to take care of their tomb, to pray for their soul, in exchange for favours from the dead. The blessed one adopts the NN, decorates the tomb with flowers and often a marble slate saying, 揟hank you NN for the favour received. Some caretakers even name their NN, often granting them their own family name, inscribing their new name on the marble.
Echavarr韆 explains: 揙n one level, the living make a business-like transaction with the dead: In return for a favour, I will keep up your tomb, decorate it, paint it, bring a glass of water so your soul will not be thirsty, bring you flowers, humanise you by giving you a name. But collectively they are saying, we won抰 let the violence erase you, we snatch you away from those who have made you disappear, we take care of you, we give you names. Their pact with the dead reconstructs the social fabric.

Two more pictures in Workshops.




ikeharel, holmertz, pierrefonds, COSTANTINO, jean113, worldcitizen has marked this note useful

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Additional Photos by Malgorzata Kopczynska (emka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 13605 W: 141 N: 35276] (158932)
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