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?
Ana Maria Arévalo Gosen is a Venezuelan visual storyteller focusing on women’s rights. Mixing rigorous research with intimate stories, she aims to make a positive impact through her projects. In 2017-2019, she reported the story Días Eternos about the conditions of women in preventive detention centers and prisons in Venezuela. The project was supported by grants from Women Photograph and the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. She is the recipient of the Lucas Dolega award, first place in the Pictures of the Year Latam in the category The Strength of Women, and the LUMIX prize. Her work has been exhibited at the LUMIX festival for young photojournalists, Manifesto festival in Toulouse, France, and the International Women Photography Association. Ana is a National Geographic Explorer and divides her time between Venezuela and Bilbao.
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. We support over 200 reporting projects a year, in partnership with more than 150 news organizations with an increasing focus on regional and local outlets to ensure we are reaching diverse audiences. We are raising awareness of the interconnected nature of the greatest challenges of our times and pointing to possible solutions. We serve global public-interest journalism by engaging wide audiences on deeply reported topics and inspiring the next generation to value credible news and cross-cultural understanding.
Días Eternos: A Portrait of the Life of Female Prisoners in Venezuela
Featuring: Ana Maria Arévalo Gosen
Curated by: Claire Seaton
LocationsView Location Details Brooklyn Bridge Park – Empire Fulton Ferry Lawn
1 Water Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
This location is part of Brooklyn Bridge Park
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Behind the Reporting: Pablo Albarenga and Ana Maria Arévalo
Pulitzer Center grantees Pablo Albarenga and Ana Maria Arévalo Gosen, in conversation with Marina Walker Guevara, discuss their approaches to photographing marginalized communities.Learn More