The Vanished

The Vanished

The photographs that you are going to see this time were taken in Argentina some time ago. While I was looking at them recently and trying to pick and chose the ones that I would include in this writing a persistent thought came into my mind, and, it is how fragile life, people and things could be. All of these can “Vanish” or disappear from our lives in a second and I believe that the only way we can keep them alive is by making, us and everyone, aware that those realities exist. The photographs were taken in color but I thought that the way they should be looked is in B&W. I’ve always thought B&W is so powerful to convey emotions. One day I will publish them in color since they are also very powerful.

Two of the pictures you are going to see where taken while walking in Buenos Aires. If you go there you can see that our brothers in Argentina are not shy in expressing their feelings, especially, when they are remembering the people that “Vanished” during the military regimes in the 70’s.

We ran across this graphic display of crosses, hanging in a frame, and every cross had the name of someone that one day was here and the other he was not. Nobody knows where they are and probably, today, the only ones that remembered them are their families and those crosses in the street. I registered close ups of the crosses and printed them in a yellowish tone, like old photographs that were kept in boxes for years and years. It gave me the feeling that I should take them out of the boxes and show them so that these “vanished” people were not forgotten.

Another place in Buenos Aires where you can see people that have gone away is at the “Cementerio de La Recoleta”. It is a cemetery that has thousand of mausoleums that go back to the last century. If you wanted and had the time you could follow Argentina’s history by looking at who is buried there. Most of the mausoleums are very elaborate but there was one that really captured my attention. It is a bronze fixture in a door that tells us to keep silent; to respect the peacefulness of the place. I was just amazed of what I felt when I took the photograph.

During the trip, I had the opportunity to visit the region that borders with Chile, where the “Aconcagua” resides in the Andes Region. The peak is almost 7000 meters high. Two scenes captured my attention. One is how rugged those mountains can be and two how many people had “vanished” trying to conquer their peaks. I visited a cemetery, at the base of the mountain, where climbers, that lost their live trying to reach its peak, were buried. Some tombs had the boots they used and others were just a pile of rocks. I was impressed by how simple the burial place was compared to the monumental task of reaching the peak. It did not reflect the effort. Very sad.

The other photographs you will see were taken at the “Iguazu Waterfalls”, where Argentina borders with Brazil. They told me I was lucky to visit them at that time because they have had a very long rainy reason and the amount of water was an all time record. You can walk to the waterfalls and be very close to the edge and I was there almost at dusk and the view was just so spectacular. The sensation of feeling small compared to such roaring power was overwhelming.

The vision of in my head, when I took the photographs, was like a watercolor painting. The colors of the sunset were stunning but, again, to convey the harshness of the scenes and how easy all this could vanish, I decided to show them in B&W.

I captured a very nice view of a house the i’ts built over sulphur. Taking it to BW gave it a different sense that the colored one, which is also very good. Being in Argentina, I had to show some movement and I chose some tango street dancers. Movement is a recurring topic of mine.

I really hope you enjoy these photographs. As before, I’ve put them in the following video format but you can go into “My Photographs/The Vanished” to see each one of them in more detail.

P.D. – The best steak I ate is at “La Cabrera” at Palermo SOHO

This entry was posted in Portafolio.


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