Loud Silence

  • My father passed away a couple of months after the hurricane. However, his death, like those of many others, has not been acknowledged as a direct consequence of the hurricane. To honor and remember him, and visibilize the situation on the island, I have started this photographic project. As a jump start to this project, I began documenting his personal belongings that were given to me after his funeral.

  • Starting the year off with possibly one of the most important photographs of this project: my father's necklace, the one that I now wear. A golden chain and a charm of a person windsurfing. I remeber going to the Ocean Park Beach with him. I would wait on the shore while he surfed for hours. I used to follow his path through the sea and sometimes, when he was far away, I would loose track of him. Whenever he'd come back I would ask many questions: Was it scary? Is the water really deep? Did you see fishes? Did you fall? What happens if you fall? He answered them all with excitement. Windsurfing and the beach were a constant in his life. Enough to have jewlery that reflected his passion. He had this necklace on everyday since his 20s, I remeber clearly how it looked around his neck. It might be a coincidence that, as I am now in my 20s, I am wearing his necklace.

  • Looking through a box of letters, cards, and random papers, I found the Christmas card my father gave me last year in December 2017. The card reads: "Gabriella, Merry Christmas and that this new year brings you good things and that you fulfill your dreams. I love you. Papi" Each time I read it I realize that his unexpected and tragic death is still an open wound. This has been by far the hardest photograph to take. While before I thought these cards were trival, today I would give anything to have my father write me a card.

  • Vintage Nikon camera that belonged to my late grandfather on my dad's side, Jorge Báez García. My father kept it stored, maybe in the same way I am now keeping his things. I'd like to think that he kept it for me... I guess in some way he did.

  • My mother kept this photo album stored for over 25 years. It is from the time when she and my father were a couple, much before I was born. She gave it to me in November and through these images I learned about my father's 20s, the time frame that I am growing into. Even though our young adult years took (and are taking) different paths, small ordinary things like a beer in hand and refreshing in a small inflatable kiddie pool on the balcony, I can relate to him. There is not a day that goes by without thinking about you. I miss you.

  • My father kept old photo albums in his office. Maybe this is where I get my love for photography from.

  • Since I was very young I remeber my father listening to this music. The first concert I saw on DVD with my father was Stevie Wonder. I later saw Sade, Pink Floyd, and Duran Duran among others. He also really enjoyed jazz, although not pictured here. Last time I visited him, he had his white classic iPod placed on his speaker listening to some jazz group. He said it helped him concentrate. I can't help but think about him whenever this music plays. Its bittersweet.

  • As time goes by, I am expected to feel better, to miss my father less. But I can't help but miss him more. He gave me this shirt a couple of years ago. Whenever I want to feel him closer I wear it.

  • One of my father's favorite paper holders. Trivial objects that take on a new meaning after his death.

  • My father conserved this photo album since the day I was born. In it there are many pictures of us playing in the water on a beach or in a pool. I remember that it would take him forever to get into the water because "it was cold". I'd just dive right in and, if he was taking too long, splash him with water. He would just laugh it off. Today, I have serious issues with cold water; don't even try me cause I'll burst with anger. Now I understand my father was a patient man.

{"id":13937,"grant_id":10,"user_id":35142,"grant_submission_status_id":4,"grant_result_type_id":null,"cover_block_id":157341,"story_id":17959,"place_id":null,"title":"Loud Silence","excerpt":null,"excerpt_raw":null,"body":"<p>The dead of Hurricane Mar\u00eda in Puerto Rico carry a loud silence. The official death toll on the island is at 64, but on the streets you can hear stories of friends and family members who have died of direct consequences of the hurricane and have not been counted. In May 2018 the Harvard School of Public Health published a study that estimated the death toll of Hurricane Mar\u00eda in Puerto Rico to be at least 70 times larger than the official report, calculating approximately 4,645 excess deaths from September 20 through December 31, 2017. However, the toll continues to grow. \r<\/p><p>My father is one of the victims of the disaster.\r<\/p><p>As the one year anniversary of the hurricane approaches, the number of suicides is increasing, yet these bodies are not being counted as a direct consequence of the hurricane. The collective trauma of the negligent response of both the federal and local government during the aftermath of Mar\u00eda is being reflected by the quickly deteriorating mental health of the general population. There is an ongoing mental health crisis that is not being attended to, rather it is being ignored, erased, invisibilized, and especially, it is being depoliticized. \r<\/p><p> In this ongoing documentary project I am exploring official discourses, personal narrative, and memory building.<\/p>","body_raw":"The dead of Hurricane Mar\u00eda in Puerto Rico carry a loud silence. The official death toll on the island is at 64, but on the streets you can hear stories of friends and family members who have died of direct consequences of the hurricane and have not been counted. In May 2018 the Harvard School of Public Health published a study that estimated the death toll of Hurricane Mar\u00eda in Puerto Rico to be at least 70 times larger than the official report, calculating approximately 4,645 excess deaths from September 20 through December 31, 2017. However, the toll continues to grow. \r\n\r\nMy father is one of the victims of the disaster.\r\n\r\nAs the one year anniversary of the hurricane approaches, the number of suicides is increasing, yet these bodies are not being counted as a direct consequence of the hurricane. The collective trauma of the negligent response of both the federal and local government during the aftermath of Mar\u00eda is being reflected by the quickly deteriorating mental health of the general population. There is an ongoing mental health crisis that is not being attended to, rather it is being ignored, erased, invisibilized, and especially, it is being depoliticized. \r\n\r\n In this ongoing documentary project I am exploring official discourses, personal narrative, and memory building.","is_shortlisted":1,"is_other":null,"is_strong":1,"is_ongoing":1,"is_unpublished":0,"sent_first_email_reminder":0,"awaiting_payment":0,"has_started_payment":0,"has_started_paypal_payment":0,"is_public":0,"media_ok":0,"has_tracked":0,"amount_paid":0,"external_id":null,"payment_id":null,"session_id":null,"token":null,"grant_order_id":0,"submitted_at":null,"affiliate_id":null,"started_at":"2018-01-01 00:00:00","ended_at":null,"created_at":"2019-02-07 17:02:10","updated_at":"2019-02-13 16:30:12","place":null,"publications":[],"categories":[],"tags":[{"id":2639,"tag":"social issues","created_at":"2015-12-07 17:06:00","updated_at":"2015-12-07 17:06:00","pivot":{"grant_submission_id":13937,"tag_id":2639}},{"id":249,"tag":"mental health","created_at":"2015-12-07 17:05:38","updated_at":"2015-12-07 17:05:38","pivot":{"grant_submission_id":13937,"tag_id":249}},{"id":3029,"tag":"depression","created_at":"2015-12-07 17:06:06","updated_at":"2015-12-07 17:06:06","pivot":{"grant_submission_id":13937,"tag_id":3029}},{"id":7064,"tag":"suicide","created_at":"2016-03-18 23:52:00","updated_at":"2016-03-18 23:52:00","pivot":{"grant_submission_id":13937,"tag_id":7064}},{"id":8759,"tag":"documentary project","created_at":"2016-09-19 18:03:18","updated_at":"2016-09-19 18:03:18","pivot":{"grant_submission_id":13937,"tag_id":8759}},{"id":3332,"tag":"personal project","created_at":"2015-12-07 17:06:10","updated_at":"2015-12-07 17:06:10","pivot":{"grant_submission_id":13937,"tag_id":3332}},{"id":970,"tag":"long-term","created_at":"2015-12-07 17:05:43","updated_at":"2015-12-07 17:05:43","pivot":{"grant_submission_id":13937,"tag_id":970}},{"id":5772,"tag":"caribbean","created_at":"2015-12-07 17:06:52","updated_at":"2015-12-07 17:06:52","pivot":{"grant_submission_id":13937,"tag_id":5772}},{"id":18862,"tag":"hurricane maria","created_at":"2018-10-16 05:31:05","updated_at":"2018-10-16 05:31:05","pivot":{"grant_submission_id":13937,"tag_id":18862}},{"id":4534,"tag":"puerto rico","created_at":"2015-12-07 17:06:28","updated_at":"2015-12-07 17:06:28","pivot":{"grant_submission_id":13937,"tag_id":4534}}],"blocks":[{"id":157341,"grant_submission_id":13937,"story_block_id":null,"image_id":271305,"position":-1,"created_at":"2019-02-07 17:04:01","updated_at":"2019-02-07 17:19:04","caption":"My father passed away a couple of months after the hurricane. However, his death, like those of many others, has not been acknowledged as a direct consequence of the hurricane. To honor and remember him, and visibilize the situation on the island, I have started this photographic project. \r\nAs a jump start to this project, I began documenting his personal belongings that were given to me after his funeral.","caption_raw":"My father passed away a couple of months after the hurricane. However, his death, like those of many others, has not been acknowledged as a direct consequence of the hurricane. To honor and remember him, and visibilize the situation on the island, I have started this photographic project. \r\nAs a jump start to this project, I began documenting his personal belongings that were given to me after his funeral.","deleted_at":null,"image":{"id":271305,"filename":"\/users\/35142\/grant-submissions\/13937\/pmkfepdaac1ec0b4.jpg","created_at":"2019-02-07 17:04:01","updated_at":"2019-02-07 17:04:01"},"story_block":null},{"id":157346,"grant_submission_id":13937,"story_block_id":null,"image_id":271310,"position":0,"created_at":"2019-02-07 17:04:35","updated_at":"2019-02-07 17:14:02","caption":"Starting the year off with possibly one of the most important photographs of this project: my father's necklace, the one that I now wear. A golden chain and a charm of a person windsurfing. I remeber going to the Ocean Park Beach with him. I would wait on the shore while he surfed for hours. I used to follow his path through the sea and sometimes, when he was far away, I would loose track of him. Whenever he'd come back I would ask many questions: Was it scary? Is the water really deep? Did you see fishes? Did you fall? What happens if you fall? He answered them all with excitement. Windsurfing and the beach were a constant in his life. Enough to have jewlery that reflected his passion. He had this necklace on everyday since his 20s, I remeber clearly how it looked around his neck. It might be a coincidence that, as I am now in my 20s, I am wearing his necklace.","caption_raw":"Starting the year off with possibly one of the most important photographs of this project: my father's necklace, the one that I now wear. A golden chain and a charm of a person windsurfing. I remeber going to the Ocean Park Beach with him. I would wait on the shore while he surfed for hours. I used to follow his path through the sea and sometimes, when he was far away, I would loose track of him. Whenever he'd come back I would ask many questions: Was it scary? Is the water really deep? Did you see fishes? Did you fall? What happens if you fall? He answered them all with excitement. Windsurfing and the beach were a constant in his life. Enough to have jewlery that reflected his passion. He had this necklace on everyday since his 20s, I remeber clearly how it looked around his neck. It might be a coincidence that, as I am now in my 20s, I am wearing his necklace.","deleted_at":null,"image":{"id":271310,"filename":"\/users\/35142\/grant-submissions\/13937\/pmkffm8440efd0c7.jpg","created_at":"2019-02-07 17:04:35","updated_at":"2019-02-07 17:04:35"},"story_block":null},{"id":157344,"grant_submission_id":13937,"story_block_id":null,"image_id":271308,"position":1,"created_at":"2019-02-07 17:04:31","updated_at":"2019-02-07 17:14:02","caption":"Looking through a box of letters, cards, and random papers, I found the Christmas card my father gave me last year in December 2017. The card reads: \"Gabriella, Merry Christmas and that this new year brings you good things and that you fulfill your dreams. I love you. Papi\" Each time I read it I realize that his unexpected and tragic death is still an open wound. This has been by far the hardest photograph to take. While before I thought these cards were trival, today I would give anything to have my father write me a card.","caption_raw":"Looking through a box of letters, cards, and random papers, I found the Christmas card my father gave me last year in December 2017. The card reads: \"Gabriella, Merry Christmas and that this new year brings you good things and that you fulfill your dreams. I love you. Papi\" Each time I read it I realize that his unexpected and tragic death is still an open wound. This has been by far the hardest photograph to take. While before I thought these cards were trival, today I would give anything to have my father write me a card.","deleted_at":null,"image":{"id":271308,"filename":"\/users\/35142\/grant-submissions\/13937\/pmkffj29bed24909.jpg","created_at":"2019-02-07 17:04:31","updated_at":"2019-02-07 17:04:31"},"story_block":null},{"id":157351,"grant_submission_id":13937,"story_block_id":null,"image_id":271315,"position":2,"created_at":"2019-02-07 17:04:37","updated_at":"2019-02-07 17:14:02","caption":"Vintage Nikon camera that belonged to my late grandfather on my dad's side, Jorge B\u00e1ez Garc\u00eda. My father kept it stored, maybe in the same way I am now keeping his things. I'd like to think that he kept it for me... I guess in some way he did.","caption_raw":"Vintage Nikon camera that belonged to my late grandfather on my dad's side, Jorge B\u00e1ez Garc\u00eda. My father kept it stored, maybe in the same way I am now keeping his things. I'd like to think that he kept it for me... I guess in some way he did.","deleted_at":null,"image":{"id":271315,"filename":"\/users\/35142\/grant-submissions\/13937\/pmkffp56d0c00752.jpg","created_at":"2019-02-07 17:04:37","updated_at":"2019-02-07 17:04:37"},"story_block":null},{"id":157350,"grant_submission_id":13937,"story_block_id":null,"image_id":271314,"position":3,"created_at":"2019-02-07 17:04:37","updated_at":"2019-02-07 17:14:02","caption":"My mother kept this photo album stored for over 25 years. It is from the time when she and my father were a couple, much before I was born. She gave it to me in November and through these images I learned about my father's 20s, the time frame that I am growing into. Even though our young adult years took (and are taking) different paths, small ordinary things like a beer in hand and refreshing in a small inflatable kiddie pool on the balcony, I can relate to him. \r\nThere is not a day that goes by without thinking about you. I miss you.","caption_raw":"My mother kept this photo album stored for over 25 years. It is from the time when she and my father were a couple, much before I was born. She gave it to me in November and through these images I learned about my father's 20s, the time frame that I am growing into. Even though our young adult years took (and are taking) different paths, small ordinary things like a beer in hand and refreshing in a small inflatable kiddie pool on the balcony, I can relate to him. \r\nThere is not a day that goes by without thinking about you. I miss you.","deleted_at":null,"image":{"id":271314,"filename":"\/users\/35142\/grant-submissions\/13937\/pmkffp69ba3eb689.jpg","created_at":"2019-02-07 17:04:37","updated_at":"2019-02-07 17:04:37"},"story_block":null},{"id":157349,"grant_submission_id":13937,"story_block_id":null,"image_id":271313,"position":4,"created_at":"2019-02-07 17:04:37","updated_at":"2019-02-07 17:14:02","caption":"My father kept old photo albums in his office. Maybe this is where I get my love for photography from.","caption_raw":"My father kept old photo albums in his office. Maybe this is where I get my love for photography from.","deleted_at":null,"image":{"id":271313,"filename":"\/users\/35142\/grant-submissions\/13937\/pmkffp8b4bf94f8d.jpg","created_at":"2019-02-07 17:04:37","updated_at":"2019-02-07 17:04:37"},"story_block":null},{"id":157345,"grant_submission_id":13937,"story_block_id":null,"image_id":271309,"position":5,"created_at":"2019-02-07 17:04:34","updated_at":"2019-02-07 17:14:03","caption":"Since I was very young I remeber my father listening to this music. The first concert I saw on DVD with my father was Stevie Wonder. I later saw Sade, Pink Floyd, and Duran Duran among others. He also really enjoyed jazz, although not pictured here. Last time I visited him, he had his white classic iPod placed on his speaker listening to some jazz group. He said it helped him concentrate. I can't help but think about him whenever this music plays. Its bittersweet.","caption_raw":"Since I was very young I remeber my father listening to this music. The first concert I saw on DVD with my father was Stevie Wonder. I later saw Sade, Pink Floyd, and Duran Duran among others. He also really enjoyed jazz, although not pictured here. Last time I visited him, he had his white classic iPod placed on his speaker listening to some jazz group. He said it helped him concentrate. I can't help but think about him whenever this music plays. Its bittersweet.","deleted_at":null,"image":{"id":271309,"filename":"\/users\/35142\/grant-submissions\/13937\/pmkffm11f9535274.jpg","created_at":"2019-02-07 17:04:34","updated_at":"2019-02-07 17:04:34"},"story_block":null},{"id":157347,"grant_submission_id":13937,"story_block_id":null,"image_id":271311,"position":6,"created_at":"2019-02-07 17:04:36","updated_at":"2019-02-07 17:14:03","caption":"As time goes by, I am expected to feel better, to miss my father less. But I can't help but miss him more. He gave me this shirt a couple of years ago. Whenever I want to feel him closer I wear it.","caption_raw":"As time goes by, I am expected to feel better, to miss my father less. But I can't help but miss him more. He gave me this shirt a couple of years ago. Whenever I want to feel him closer I wear it.","deleted_at":null,"image":{"id":271311,"filename":"\/users\/35142\/grant-submissions\/13937\/pmkffo0e595a822d.jpg","created_at":"2019-02-07 17:04:36","updated_at":"2019-02-07 17:04:36"},"story_block":null},{"id":157342,"grant_submission_id":13937,"story_block_id":null,"image_id":271306,"position":7,"created_at":"2019-02-07 17:04:31","updated_at":"2019-02-07 17:14:03","caption":"One of my father's favorite paper holders. Trivial objects that take on a new meaning after his death.","caption_raw":"One of my father's favorite paper holders. Trivial objects that take on a new meaning after his death.","deleted_at":null,"image":{"id":271306,"filename":"\/users\/35142\/grant-submissions\/13937\/pmkffid9d28ede10.jpg","created_at":"2019-02-07 17:04:31","updated_at":"2019-02-07 17:04:31"},"story_block":null},{"id":157348,"grant_submission_id":13937,"story_block_id":null,"image_id":271312,"position":8,"created_at":"2019-02-07 17:04:37","updated_at":"2019-02-07 17:14:03","caption":"My father conserved this photo album since the day I was born. In it there are many pictures of us playing in the water on a beach or in a pool. I remember that it would take him forever to get into the water because \"it was cold\". I'd just dive right in and, if he was taking too long, splash him with water. He would just laugh it off. Today, I have serious issues with cold water; don't even try me cause I'll burst with anger. Now I understand my father was a patient man.","caption_raw":"My father conserved this photo album since the day I was born. In it there are many pictures of us playing in the water on a beach or in a pool. I remember that it would take him forever to get into the water because \"it was cold\". I'd just dive right in and, if he was taking too long, splash him with water. He would just laugh it off. Today, I have serious issues with cold water; don't even try me cause I'll burst with anger. Now I understand my father was a patient man.","deleted_at":null,"image":{"id":271312,"filename":"\/users\/35142\/grant-submissions\/13937\/pmkffoa73215077c.jpg","created_at":"2019-02-07 17:04:37","updated_at":"2019-02-07 17:04:37"},"story_block":null}],"cover_block_image":{"id":157341,"grant_submission_id":13937,"story_block_id":null,"image_id":271305,"position":-1,"created_at":"2019-02-07 17:04:01","updated_at":"2019-02-07 17:19:04","caption":"My father passed away a couple of months after the hurricane. However, his death, like those of many others, has not been acknowledged as a direct consequence of the hurricane. To honor and remember him, and visibilize the situation on the island, I have started this photographic project. \r\nAs a jump start to this project, I began documenting his personal belongings that were given to me after his funeral.","caption_raw":"My father passed away a couple of months after the hurricane. However, his death, like those of many others, has not been acknowledged as a direct consequence of the hurricane. To honor and remember him, and visibilize the situation on the island, I have started this photographic project. \r\nAs a jump start to this project, I began documenting his personal belongings that were given to me after his funeral.","deleted_at":null,"image":{"id":271305,"filename":"\/users\/35142\/grant-submissions\/13937\/pmkfepdaac1ec0b4.jpg","created_at":"2019-02-07 17:04:01","updated_at":"2019-02-07 17:04:01"}},"user":{"id":35142,"firstname":"Gabriella N.","lastname":"B\u00e1ez","username":"GNicoleB","can_skip_grant_payment":0,"is_unsubscribed_from_grant_emails":0,"disabled_at":null,"gender":"female","has_agreed_to_newsletter":0,"has_agreed_to_newsletter_at":null,"timezone":null,"is_legacy":0,"is_collateral_juror":0,"legacy_id":null,"accepted_tandcs_may18_at":"2019-02-07 17:02:03","last_logged_in_at":"2019-04-10 20:16:05","created_at":"2019-02-07 17:02:03","updated_at":"2019-04-10 20:16:05","deleted_at":null,"profile":{"id":35123,"user_id":35142,"born_in_id":145514,"based_in_id":145514,"currently_in_id":145514,"nationality_id":null,"avatar":"\/users\/35142\/avatars\/poq8w6f7f7b59725.png","cover_image":"\/users\/35142\/cover_images\/poq96o28125a44e2.JPG","born_at":"1997-08-18 00:08:00","profession":null,"bio":"Emerging documentary photographer and visual artist based in the city of San Juan, Puerto Rico.","long_bio":"<p>Gabriella is an emerging documentary photographer and visual artist. Early in her career she has focused on documenting intimate subjects: from her father's death post -Hurricane Mar\u00eda, the archives of her family, and the transformations of her friend group as they drift apart. Her work is raw and personal. She has been published in Internews, El Nuevo D\u00eda, Primera Hora, Espacialidades, and Revista Brinca Verja.<\/p><p>With under a year of experience, she was awarded Student Photographer of the Year (2017) from the association of Puerto Rican Photojournalists. Since then, she has participated in various fellowships, research programs, workshops, and exhibitions. In 2019 she was selected to participate in The New York Times Portfolio Review and The New York Times Summer Journalism Institute. She has further collaborated with artists and researchers on topics including: photography and disability, Puerto Rican archives, and urban street art.<\/p><p>Gabriella is available for assignments globally and has prints for sale. <\/p><p>email: <a href=\"mailto:gnbr818@gmail.com\" target=\"_blank\">gnbr818@gmail.com<\/a> | phone: (787) 450-6066<\/p>","long_bio_raw":"Gabriella is an emerging documentary photographer and visual artist. Early in her career she has focused on documenting intimate subjects: from her father's death post -Hurricane Mar\u00eda, the archives of her family, and the transformations of her friend group as they drift apart. Her work is raw and personal. She has been published in Internews, El Nuevo D\u00eda, Primera Hora, Espacialidades, and Revista Brinca Verja.\n\nWith under a year of experience, she was awarded Student Photographer of the Year (2017) from the association of Puerto Rican Photojournalists. Since then, she has participated in various fellowships, research programs, workshops, and exhibitions. In 2019 she was selected to participate in The New York Times Portfolio Review and The New York Times Summer Journalism Institute. She has further collaborated with artists and researchers on topics including: photography and disability, Puerto Rican archives, and urban street art.\n\nGabriella is available for assignments globally and has prints for sale. \nemail: gnbr818@gmail.com | phone: (787) 450-6066","twitter_handle":"gabriellanbaez","facebook_handle":null,"skype_handle":null,"google_plus_handle":null,"pinterest_handle":null,"instagram_handle":"gabriellanbaez","vimeo_handle":null,"youtube_handle":null,"telephone":null,"show_explicit_content":"0","created_at":"2019-02-07 17:02:03","updated_at":"2019-03-21 17:42:24"}}}