April 23, 2019
“This picture was taken at the detention center I visited the most, La Yaguara. That day, 22 women were sharing a very small cell, including 17 year-old Hainni Lara. I remember looking at her and thinking that she looked like my friend's sister: small, pale skin, big brown, rogue eyes and long brown hair. The thing that reminded the most of my friend's younger sister was her very innocent smile.
I shot some close-up portraits of her, and then a police officer yelled into the cell, telling her to show me her tattoo, which she did. Her nickname is "38" because of the tattoo that she has on her upper thigh. It shows a 38 caliber gun held by a garter.
The reason for her arrest was homicide. She had been waiting for her trial for 2 and a half months, but hadn't yet seen a lawyer. Hainni has a daughter waiting for her outside. The father of Hainni's daughter is dead.
I find this picture tough, because it represents a part of Venezuelan society that venerates guns. They are a normal part of everyday life. A tattoo of a gun represents power and authority, just as much as protection.”
You can find the whole portfolio in LFI 3/2019.
Ana María Arévalo+-
Ana Maria Arévalo Gosen (born in Caracas, Venezuela, in 1988) is a visual storyteller focused on the fight for women’s rights and environmental issues. She is a National Geographic Explorer and a member of Ayün Fotografas. Mixing rigorous research with intimate stories, she wants to make a positive impact through her projects. In 2020 she won the LUMIX and Lucas Dolega Awards for her series Días Eternos about the conditions of women in pretrial detention in Venezuela. Días Eternos was published in LFI 3/2019. More