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

“I was born in Medellín 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 Echavarría, 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 Berrío, a town on the banks of the Magdalena River, Echavarría 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: Ningún Nombre—No Name.
The people of Puerto Berrío 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 “escogido”—chosen—by 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, “Thank 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.
Echavarría explains: “On 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’t 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 heeft deze opmerking als nuttig gemarkeerd

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Additional Photos by Malgorzata Kopczynska (emka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 13587 W: 141 N: 35217] (158744)
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