Ana María Arévalo Gosen's Días Eternos exhibition highlights plight of women in Latin American prison systems

By Tempus | 05 May 2022 | Culture, Art

The Venezuelan photographer's work is set to go on display at Leica Gallery London later in May

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Leica Gallery London has announced the first UK exhibition of works by famed Venezuelan photographer Ana María Arévalo Gosen, highlighting the plight of women in Latin America's overcrowded prison systems. 

The collection, dubbed Días Eternos (Eternal Days), sees the artist expose the current crisis in the penal systems of the Americas, where women are routinely held in extremely overcrowded conditions with no access to medical care or hygeine facilities. Also plaguing these systems is a lack of due process and justice, with inmates often incarcerated under dubious circumstances.

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After witnessing the appalling conditions in the prison system of her home country after returning from living in Europe, since 2017 she has visited four prisons and 11 detention centres across the continent, taking her project as far north as El Salvador. According to the artist, she will continue to pursue this project until change is implemented.

“It is a body of work that shows evidence of one of the root causes of the crisis in Venezuela,” she says of the collection. “The criminal justice system does not work equally for everybody. On the contrary, it takes away the rights of the poorest and most vulnerable members of society. Justice is lost in my country.”

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“I am very angry, sad and ashamed, all of the time. At the beginning, it was hard to leave the centres without crying, and even to come back home, because of the shock. The rage is what wakes me up sometimes to work; I am so angry, I have to keep on going.”

The Días Eternos exhibition will consist of a selection of 20 images from the series and will take place between 11 May and 10 June 2022 at Leica Gallery London, 64-66 Duke Street, W1K 6JD.

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