Untitled (Woman in profile) from the 27-F series: The Unburied, 1997, gelatin silver print

Untitled (Woman in profile) from the 27-F series: The Unburied, 1997, gelatin silver print

Sara Maneiro (Venezuela)

SARA MANEIRO carries out strong messages in her work, which are dedicated to commenting boldly on national events of violence in the society. Maneiro, primarily, has been gathering portraits of ‘disappeared’ people in her native Venezuela. The strong realism of these almost abstract portraits is a homage to the victims of the tragedy of the biggest massacre in the wake of democratic Venezuela. According to relatives and victims, a list of over 430 names have been compiled of disappeared people following the governmental crack down in Caracas subsequently by the riots on February 27 of 1989. The waves of looting and raging, were acts carried out by segments of the population, in response to the uncontrollable price increases and food shortage. 27 – F: The Unburied  is a series of black and white out of focus photographs, which are re-photographed and altered portraits of missing and most likely assassinated people.  The fate of the missing people were first discovered by the exposure of mass graves a few years later. Forensic themes have been unable to identify the recovered victims, with the exception of a handful of people. Maneiro has capitalized on the distorting effects inherent in photography, to discuss issues related to these peoples’ destiny of being unrecognizable. Without connecting a face to a person, the chances are far greater that he or she will fall into oblivion. Maneiro states “Naming and suffering mourning is to revel in it, subvert it and therefore overcome it.” But her work demands that unspeakable acts against humanity will not to be forgotten.