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VENEZUELA

Ana Maria Arevalo Gosen

Ana María Arévalo Gosen (nacida en 1988 en Caracas, Venezuela) emprendió un viaje transformador en 2009, cuando se trasladó a Toulouse, Francia. Allí estudió Ciencias Políticas en el Institut d’Etudes Politiques y descubrió su pasión por la fotografía en ETPA, École de Photographie. En 2014, amplió sus horizontes artísticos en Hamburgo (Alemania), donde comenzó a trabajar como narradora visual independiente. Actualmente afincada en Madrid, Arévalo Gosen canaliza con frecuencia su creatividad en proyectos por toda América Latina.
Utilizando la narración visual como medio, Arévalo Gosen defiende con pasión los derechos de la mujer, la justicia social y las causas medioambientales. Reconocida como Exploradora de National Geographic y miembro de Ayün Fotógrafas, fusiona una meticulosa investigación con narraciones íntimas para crear historias cargadas de emoción, directas y honestas. Su misión principal es catalizar un cambio social duradero. Es educadora y conferenciante afiliada al Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Es fundadora de Ojo Pelao, un taller gratuito para fotógrafos documentales venezolanos emergentes.
En el centro de su portafolio se encuentra «El sentido de la vida», una conmovedora documentación de la batalla de su marido contra el cáncer testicular. Arévalo Gosen se esfuerza por crear conciencia sobre la enfermedad a través de este proyecto, haciendo campaña anualmente para la investigación del cáncer masculino desde 2018.
Su proyecto en curso a largo plazo, «Días Eternos», que explora las condiciones de las mujeres en las cárceles y en prisión preventiva en América Latina (Venezuela, Guatemala y El Salvador), obtuvo prestigiosos reconocimientos, como el Premio Leica Oskar Barnack y el Premio Camille Lepage en 2021. También obtuvo becas como la beca LHSA, el premio LUMIX Photo y el premio Lucas Dolega en 2020. En 2019, ganó el POY Latam y encabezó la categoría «La fuerza de las mujeres». Apoyada por subvenciones del Centro Pulitzer para el reportaje de crisis y fotografía de mujeres, ella planea expandir este trabajo vital por toda la región.
Arévalo Gosen sigue acumulando galardones, como el World Peace Photo Award en 2021 por «Sinfonía desordenada» con National Geographic. En 2023, recibió el Marylin Stafford PhotoReportage Award por «Abuelas con 30», que arroja luz sobre la vida de los padres adolescentes en Venezuela.
Sus impactantes contribuciones se extienden a medios de comunicación internacionales, como el New York Times, National Geographic y El País Semanal. Su obra ha sido expuesta en Fotografiska Nueva York, GBG Arts Caracas, Capitis Gallery Hamburgo, Ernst-Leitz Museum, Photoville Nueva York, Helsinki Photo Festival, Manifesto Festival Toulouse, LUMIX Festival Berlín y Leica Galleries de Madrid, Miami, Taipei y Londres.

Ana María Arévalo Gosen

PROJECT

Días Eternos

The fate of incarcerated women in Latin America has been largely ignored, unspoken, and veiled from both national and international public consciousness. Imprisonment not only catalyzes crime and violence but also dismantles families, leaving a profound imprint on Latin American society. This is evident in the manner in which criminals are sentenced, crimes are investigated, and minorities are treated— a perpetual, unresolved crisis in the Latin American penitentiary system. The ramifications of a woman’s imprisonment extend far beyond her own life, reverberating through generations.
This photographic exploration documents the often-overlooked struggles of women, as the mainstream media narrative on male incarceration in Latin America frequently neglects the intensified vulnerability of women. The disproportionate consequences of imprisonment on women, who often shoulder the responsibility of being the primary earners for their families, is a pressing issue that calls for immediate attention. For instance, in El Salvador, women are subjected to severe penalties for abortion, with sentences that equate the act to murder and can extend up to thirty years. In Venezuela, the causes for female imprisonment often seep into the political sphere. Furthermore, in Guatemala, women from indigenous communities are frequently denied fair trials due to their lack of Spanish proficiency, further compounding their predicament.

Detention facilities in Latin America serve as a stark reflection of the harrowing experiences endured by incarcerated women. Suspects often languish in these centers, awaiting trial for extended periods—frequently far beyond what is legally permissible. These facilities are sweltering, dimly lit, and critically overcrowded. Inmates have reported instances of extreme violence and torture, including abuse perpetrated by the guards themselves. There is no segregation based on the type or severity of crime committed, and gender separation is virtually non-existent. Transgender detainees face horrific abuse and sexual violence, as their gender identity is disregarded, resulting in their confinement with male detainees.

Many, including the innocent, plead guilty to escape the deplorable conditions of detention centers, hoping for a marginally better life in state prisons. They are convicted of a range of crimes, from abortion and gang membership to drug trafficking and extortion. However, post- conviction, their situation often spirals further into despair. Women become increasingly isolated, their desperate circumstances marked by a reduction in visits and phone calls— privileges that were allowed in the detention center—along with dwindling cell space and food.

Women inmates receive fewer visitors. External support becomes a lifeline to endure such conditions, not only for the crucial emotional sustenance provided by loved ones but also because they play a direct role in the survival of these women. Material support, in the form of food, clothing, and medicine, compensates for the state’s failure to provide for the basic needs of these incarcerated women.

Despite their harrowing circumstances, incarcerated women form remarkable bonds of resistance, friendship, and solidarity. They share everything: food, mattresses, clothes, and tears.
Upon release, these women exit the prison system traumatized and stigmatized, yet the penitentiary system lacks adequate support for their reintegration into society. Bereft of hope,
employment, and a supportive network of friends and family, these women are likely to return to gang life or commit crimes post-release.

I initiated Días Eternos in 2017 to document the causes and repercussions of female imprisonment within Latin American society. My objective is to bring visibility to the issue of female imprisonment, contextualized within specific historical narratives, providing women with a platform to express themselves.