Powerful photo exhibit highlights the 30,000 who disappeared under Argentine military dictatorship


LatinaLista — Whoever coined the old saying “A picture is worth a thousand words” never imagined a haunting photo exhibit as the one titled Ausencias. Otherwise, the saying would have been “A picture is worth a thousand words unsaid — and more.”
There are few times in our lives when we can sincerely say that we are touched by a photograph of strangers but in an exhibit that started last year in Europe and this fall is winding its way through Latin America, Ausencias is leaving art patrons speechless.

Ausencias chronicles a small part of the “forced disappearances” of over 30,000 Argentinians between 1976 and 1983 by the Argentine military dictatorship. The brainchild of photographer Gustavo Germano pairs decades old photos with new ones — the photos are the same: same location, same people, same poses, with one exception — there is someone missing in every modern-day photo. They are the ones who disappeared at the hands of the military junta in power at the time.
The pictures are riveting knowing that the missing people were never to have been seen again. They were young people: sons, daughters, parents themselves, novios, etc. To this day, family members in Argentina wonder where the bodies of their loved ones are. These people have become known as “Los Desaparecidos.”

Laura with her parents in 1976. In 2006, Laura alone.
(Source: Ausencia exhibit)

The exhibit highlights an era in Argentine history that needs to be remembered and through Ausencias, it is.
Since the exhibit doesn’t currently have any U.S. dates, the following YouTube video gives a small glimpse of what the exhibit is like and we can hear in Gustavo’s own words (in Spanish) his reasons and feelings for creating Ausencia.