In Venezuela the criminal justice system does not work equally for everybody. It takes away the rights of the poorest, and most vulnerable members of the society. Thousands of women, most awaiting trial and presumed innocent, are expected to be held for 45 days, but Venezuela’s crisis has rendered this notion a memory.
Pre-trial detention is particularly brutal. Jails are dark, hot, overcrowded, and claustrophobic. Prisoners have no food, water, or medical attention. Some suffer from psychological disorders, and many are affected by heavy drug addiction. There is no capacity to separate women from men (let alone transgender people or minors), nor is there an allowance for the separation of low-level offenders from hardened criminals.
The causes for imprisonment are not limited to robbery and drugs, they also extend into the political sphere. The law against hate, which was passed in January 2018, forbidding any protest against the government. The result is that numerous women are now behind bars.
How many more people will be impacted by this law? And what do the conditions of their imprisonment tell us about the state of Venezuelan society?
Featuring: Ana Maria Arevalo Gosen
Curated by: Claire Seaton
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Ana Maria Arevalo Gosen is Venezuelan, a fighter for women’s rights, and her weapon is visual storytelling. Mixing rigorous research with intimate stories, she wants to make a positive impact through her projects.
Her most challenging work is called The Meaning of Life. It is the story of her husband’s fight against testicular cancer. These days, they have been using the project to raise awareness about the disease through fundraising, with an exhibition and a concert.
She is the recipient of the Lucas Dolega award, first place in the POY Latam in The Strength of Women, category, and the LUMIX prize. Her work has been exhibited at the LUMIX Festival for Young Visual Journalism, Manifesto Festival in Toulouse, and the at International Women Photographer Association.
Ana is a National Geographic Explorer, and divides her time between Venezuela and Bilbao. She worked on Dias Eternos over the two year period 2017-2019, supported by grants from Women Photograph, and the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.
The Pulitzer Center raises awareness of underreported global issues through direct support for quality journalism across all media platforms, and a unique program of education and public outreach.