Ausencias (Absences)

Gustavo Germano

Starting with family photos, Barcelona-based photographer Gustavo Germano creates a series of before-and-after shots that are as powerful as they are personal. In every image-pairing of Ausencias (Absences)— taken in the same place, decades apart—a loved one is present, then absent. Like the systematic erasure of a dictatorship’s crimes, a disappeared person leaves a void, and a call for justice.

Argentinian photojournalist and graphic media editor Gustavo Germano began his practice in 1986 whilst traveling around Latin America. He later moved to Barcelona to begin his work Ausencias (Absences)—a photographic production of social and citizen memory about the victims of enforced disappearance of the Latin American dictatorships. His subsequent series Distancias (Distances), Búsquedas (Searches), and Contradesaparecido (Counter-disappeared) continue Germano’s highly personal investigations into exiles, abductions, recoveries, traumas and reckonings in the midst and wake of fascism and democracy across the decades in Latin America. The work also advances in his construction of a “map” of enforced disappearance in Latin America, and the development and production of a new series of Ausencias in Chile.

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