2017 - 2020

Puerto Rico, Caquetá, Colombia

When I was 3 years old, my father was killed by the National Army in the south of Colombia, he was accused of being a guerrilla fighter and shot without trial, then he was put in a common grave in the company of my uncle who was also killed. my mother was murdered 8 months later also by the Colombian government military and put in a common grave, her body was not delivered and nobody could go to claim it for fear of dying. My parents had socialist ideas and they killed them for that. There were no more birthdays and the family albums were filled with pictures of the dead and that's where the sadness began in everyone, since I was a child I had many more nightmares and I never talked about them, until a couple of years ago I started asking my family members about their nightmares (dead, floods, murders, violence) and feelings that the war has left. I knew the war, the "bombardeos", the paramilitaries and the guerrillas because in my town there was never peace. After years I took the family file, the dreams and feelings of a Colombian family in the middle of the conflict, a guy who was commander of the guerrilla and I started this photographic project.

This photo project is about my family and how the violence in Colombia affected us, it is about me and what the war left us after losing an estimated 20 people killed.

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  • Dreaming drowned is a recurring dream of my childhood, I lived in a small house with 3 rooms, we were 5 people and in my dream were the bodies of my family drowned.

  • My cousin Aldemar Vargas Jr., whose father was executed in Colombia alongside my father, and dumped into a mass grave. My mother's body was buried in the pantheon of Suaza in Hulia in southern Colombia. She was not recognized and is now buried without knowing exactly what her corpse is.

  • Asking me how I feel or how my family feels, has led us to conclude that violent death has left us dead in life, the pain of the loss of a loved one and violent death makes living a struggle for forgiven but not forgotten.

  • My grandmother is 89. From an early age she witnessed how the political forces supported by the Colombian government murdered her father.

  • "After the death of my brothers, I dreamed that I was in a family meeting, they said goodbye and I asked them to take me, on the way I got tired and my brother Hernando scolded me, then we came to a river and my brothers passed, I I could not pass and they told me to return to take care of my mother. Then I saw them in white and they said goodbye to me while they cried". Uncle Enid.

  • Absence is feeling alone in the midst of many, it is the lack of something or someone of which you have only few memories. It is the being that was but now only remains in memory.

  • My uncle Euclides was a rebel commander with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC. After 40 years as a rebel, he bears the scars of multiple wounds.

  • The violent death and forced disappearance in Colombia have left more than 8 million victims.

  • When asking some members of the family, they attribute nightmares to the subject of violence that we have lived, the most recurrent nightmare among us is that we dream that they are going to kill us, that they persecute us and then we wake up scared.

  • My brother no longer lives in Colombia, but every time he visits we go to the graves of my father and my uncle.

  • On Sept. 3, 1993, my mother was holding a workshop with peasants when she and several others were executed after being accused by the military of being guerrillas.

  • My uncle product of the war disappeared for many years, we saw him again after 6 years of not knowing anything about him. This day is in a space of reincoporación, before the abandonment of weapons.

  • Hernando and Aldemar, the oldest children of my father and uncle, in a re-creation of their fathers’ burial. This is a representation of what it means to lose a father.

  • The National Army passed them off as guerrillas, killed them and put them in a common grave. 1993 photo file.

  • My uncle Noah was tortured by the Colombian Military Forces for 15 days in 1987, he was hanged from his arms to a tree, his collarbone was broken, his nails ripped off, he was accused of being an unjustly guerrilla. He has been displaced 4 times because of the armed conflict, he became addicted to cigarettes but today he has difficulty breathing.

  • In the center of the cemetery where several relatives are buried due to violent deaths including my father, there is an angel that we visited every sunday when we were little.

  • Emely is the youngest member of the family and was born when peace talks between the government and the FARC guerrillas began.

  • Death is not just the act. It is also the consequence, and in this case, it is loneliness, austerity, lack of joy and sadness that lingers for years. My cousins Jaider, left, and Sara.

  • Dreaming of people who are dead, drowned, buried, dying or saying goodbye to their loved ones who no longer live is a recurring theme in my family.

  • The last port that my mother visited was in a municipality in southern Colombia called Curillo in the state of Caquetá. There she was persecuted by soldiers who made her go, three months after being here she was murdered in another state.