La casa que sangra (The house that bleeds)
By Yael Martinez
It was getting dark when I got the call. Luz, my wife, was telling me that they had killed her brother Beto. She was uncontrollable — I had never heard her speak like that. Her voice was shaking, breaking. I could not sleep all night. “Beto was killed, hanged,” resonated in my head, “he was beaten, burned, but they told us that he committed suicide.” Her other brothers, David and Nacho, had been missing for over 3 months.
My wife Lucero Granda taking a shower at home. The trauma of Mexico’s missing is an open wound in the nation’s psyche. Families who can’t grieve for their loved ones spend the day alternating between doubt and despair, praying for, and dreading, the blessing of certainty.Taxco Guerrero Mexico on November 23,2014.
The trompi working at the slaughter House. Acapulco Guerrero. He has one missing brother. But his family decided not to filed their case with the PGR (Attorney General’s Office). Acapulco Guerrero. On Saturday April 15, 2016.
Bedroom of the Cruz’s family in the community of Santiago Temixco, Guerrero Mexico On december 14,2014.
A person burning grass near his house in the community of Chilapa in the mountain region. This region has declared itself in crisis due to violence, disappearances and forced displacement due to organized crime and lack of rule of law. Guerrero, Mexico 2018.
Tania Fernandez at her boyfriend house. She has one missing family member. Guerrero Mexico on March 14, 2019.
A man burns a torito (fireworks) to celebrate a birthday . Guerrero Mexico. December 29,2018
(my wife) & Me at home after the lose of her Brother Beto. Taxco Guerrero México. Guerrero is one of the Mexican States that have been most affected by organized crime; It is the second poorest and most violent state in the country. The condition of social and economic marginalization of Guerrero is becoming more evident. The crisis of the rule of law is increasingly alarming and forced disappearances are only one of the symptoms that prove it. In 2013, three of my brothers-in-law died. (They used to live in Iguala, the place from where the Ayotzinapa students disappeared). One of them was killed; the other two disappeared.) After these events I began documenting my family, and the families of other missing people, in order to capture in photographs the psychological and emotional breakdown caused by the loss of family members, especially for parents, children, and siblings. I am working with the concepts of pain, emptiness, absence, and forgetting.
After these events in 2013, I began to document my family and the families of other missing people as well as fractured communities that are immerse in violence in Mexico; I am trying to create work that represents the connection between absence and presence, and this state of invisibility in a symbolic manner, working with the concepts of pain, emptiness, absence, and forgetting. The symbolic construction of the territory where violence penetrate all and this violence crosses the physical and spiritual space of those who inhabit it. The territory as an analogy to a body / space that can be a house, a person, a family, a community or a country.
Ruined house in the comunity of Santiago Temixco, Guerrero Mexico.In 2013 we lose 3 brothers-in laws. One of them was found killed at jail. Two of them still disappear. They used to live at Iguala Guerrero, the same place where the Ayotzinapa students disappeared. After that event happened we went to some places where some traces were found. We did not found anything. Guerrero Mexico on December 14,2014
Blanca Gonzalez watching t.v. after a labor day. she works on the cocine of a school in the comunity of. She is the wife of Jose Angel campos one of the 43 missing students of Ayotzinapa. Tixtla Guerrero.
Digno Cruz (My grand-father-in-law) was crying at home while he was talking about his missing grandsons. Guerrero Mexico. The discovery of several mass graves during the search of the 43 normalistas Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, shows the magnitude of the crisis of enforced disappearances in the country. The goverment have found 60 clandestine graves in the cities of Iguala-Taxco with at least 129 bodies (20 women and 109 men). None of them belonged to the 43 normalistas missing in Iguala during the month of September 2014. Official figures show that in recent years there have been 30 000 disappearances and Guerrero is one of the Mexican States that have been most affected. Guerrero Mexico on November 3, 2014.
Adriana Garcia poses for a portrait in her home in Cuajinicuilapa Guerrero Mexico on May 25th 2019.
Dried roots of Cactus on a wall in the comunity of Tixtla Guerrero Mexico.Tixtla is where the normal Isidro Burgos of Ayotzinapa is settled. Its been more than a year and still no results of the 43 missing students. Guerrero Mexico On november 7th 2015.
Itzel Martinez playing at grandparents house in the community of Santiago Temixco. In 2013 3 of her uncles disappeared, the most affected were the children. Guerrero Mexico on November 15 2014.
A crime scene. (self-portrait) Zautla Mexico. After the loss of my brother-in-law. I Try to represent symbolically his death and the death of thousands people in Mexico because of organized crime. Zautla Mexico on September 20, 2013./Escena del crimen (autorretrato) Después de la pérdida de mi cuñado. Intento representar simbólicamente su muerte y la de muchas personas en Guerrero a causa del crimen organizado. Zautla México el 20 de septiembre de 2013.
Landscape at dawn Oaxaca Mexico. on March 9, 2019.
My daugther Itzel Martínez at home in Taxco Guerrero.She is 9 years old. In 2013 three of my brothers in-laws died. After these events I began documenting my family and tried to capture the psychological and emotional breakdown caused by the loss of a family member.Guerrero Mexico on February 18, 2019
Martínez is based in Guerrero, Mexico. His work has explored the connections between, poverty, narcotraffic, organized crime, and how this affects the communities in his native Guerrero in southern Mexico. He is trying to represent the relationship of absence and presence and this state of invisibility in a symbolic manner working with the concepts of pain, emptiness, absence, and forgetting.
He received the Magnum Emergency Fund, Magnum On religión, and was named one of the PDN’s 30 new and emerging photographers to watch 2017. In 2015 he was selected in the Joop Joop Swart Master Class Latinoamerica. He was a finalist in the Eugene Smith grant in 2015 and 2016. He was nominated to the Foam Paul Huf Award, the Prix Pictet and the Infinity award of the ICP.
Photo Essay edited by Alejandra Martínez Moreno
3 thoughts on “La casa que sangra | By Yael Martinez”
I’m at a loss for words. This is a nightmare. These photographs are incredibly dark and powerful. So visceral, so depressing, dark dark dark. My heart bleeds for Yael, the others who endure this insanity, and humanity.
Thank-you Yael. I don’t know how you can keep yourself sane. I hope making these photographs helps you in that regard.
hey gordon….you are right on all counts…nice to see you here….
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