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Family Matters / Adriana Zehbrauskas

May 2016

© Adriana Zehbrauskas

Exhibit opening, screening, & talk
Tuesday May 24, 2016, 7:30 PM
Moderated by Anna Van Lenten, Half King Photo Series Curator

According to Amnesty International, more than 27,000 people remain missing or disappeared in Mexico. In 2014 alone it reached 6000, a record. The real number is probably much higher; many cases go unreported for fear of retaliation and because of distrust in local and government authorities.


Working closely with the families of the 43 students from the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers School that went missing in September, 2014 in Iguala after being ambushed by the local police and handed over to a narco group, one thing became clear to me: not only had these familie’s future been stolen, but a memory of their past was also doomed to disappear. Apart from a few mugshots and cellphone images, very few of the Ayotzinapa families had pictures of their disappeared loved ones.


It also struck me as a great paradox of the times we’re living in: there have never been so many images produced, and yet, fewer and fewer are being printed. I have always been fascinated by how family portraits tell a story of change over time. Maybe through pictures we try to assert that in a world of constant change and inevitable loss, there are things that time has no right to destroy. A person photographed has achieved a moment of redemption, saved from the fate of being forever forgotten.


~ Adriana Zehbrauskas

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