Juan Pablo Bellandi

Endless Countenances

[ EPF 2017 – SHORT LIST ]

Countenances because the wheel of the imminent is so brutal that the “Great Picture” is sterile in front of the overwhelming human tragedy. Mothers waiting for murdered sons at the gates of overcrowded morgues under the Caribbean heat. Who find their own unhuman pain in the faces of the other mothers.
People allow themselves to go out to the street, only because they have already convinced each other long ago that death is awaiting at the next corner. And then it all becomes more believable.
Common and organized crime, narco and freak, corrupt and powerful.
Broken tiles, hands holding helmets, cocaine in a key, crack in a can.



The sound of motorcycles from military, police or gangsters are known to every one. Jump, skip, hide. Protest or throw stones, the power will shoot back with Glock or Russian made AK-47.
During the nights, gunshots are heard at the distance like the happy melody that sweetens our cities. Speed, speed, gunshot and internet.
The black boot and the red beret play the theatre of the absurd and grim, whilst the queue of hunger and death sweeps.
The violence as system
How to tell a story without a lesson but terror?
It is the dark hour of my land, Venezuela.
Aching Countenances, breaking point countenances.
Rumor has it that better hours will come, trace is the one who protests, writes and portrait.



Short Bio

Juan Pablo Bellandi was born in Mérida, Venezuela in 1990. He studied photography at the Escuela Argentina de Fotografia in Buenos Aires, majoring in photojournalism. The political situation in his homeland is the theme of his long-term projects: ‘En la Intimidad con el Levantamiento’ (Intimate with the Uprising) documents the demonstrations of Venezuelans against their government. The series was short-listed for the 2015 Ian Parry Scholarship, and was exhibited in London. In 2016, Juan Pablo was one of the 12 photographers as a finalist in the Leica Oskar Barnack Award with his work Chasing HAMPA. Additionally, he won the mentorship grant of the first masterclass organized by MeMo Agency. In 2017, he was a nominee for the Joop Swart Masterclass of World Press Photo. His work has been published by The Sunday Times Magazine, Photonews Germany, LFI, DOC!PHOTOMAGAZINE, Sueddeutsche Zeitung, and Gatopardo mx.


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The Emerging Photographer Fund is supported by generous donors to the Magnum Foundation

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2 thoughts on “Juan Pablo Bellandi – Endless Countenances”

  1. Brutal.
    I don’t know how to respond. I have deep admiration for people who can produce work like this, it is so far removed from where my own sensibility sits. I can only wonder at the mind-set required, and worry about the emotional toll. I am distressed just viewing this. Witnessing it is something else, living it wouild be hell on earth.
    Dark, dark, dark. Yes, and all taken at night, in the dark. The night in places like this is truly menacing, to venture out in it would be terrifying.

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