43 Reflections for Ayotzinapa: A Showcase of Hope, a photography exhibition that vividly illustrates the civilian response to state violence in Mexico, will open in Sydney this week.
The photographs, by Mexican photographers Antonio Díaz and Joel Martínez, document the ongoing demonstrations that have spilled out onto the streets across the nation since the forced disappearance of 43 students in the city of Iguala in September last year.
“It is a good feeling to know that the these images will show the people of Sydney what is going on in Mexico,” said Martínez.
“That even when a nation is taken to this extreme level of violence, oppression and barbarity, it is still capable of losing its fear, raising its voice and rebelling against the government and the system in order to become a new country,” he said.
Since 2006, the Mexican Government has been engaged in a militarised war against drug cartels. As a result, 150, 000 people are dead, over 26, 000 are ‘missing’ and the use of torture by armed forces has become ‘out of control’ according to a recent Amnesty International report.
The disappeared 43 trainee-teacher students from a rural school in Ayotzinapa have come to symbolise the civilian struggle against state violence and impunity and have drawn attention to the increasingly blurred lines between the military and drug cartels.
Curator Socorro Cifuentes, who had the idea to bring the exhibition to Sydney, hopes it will help to raise awareness about the situation in Mexico.
“The photographs by Joel Martínez and Antonio Díaz show us the indignation, the creativity and also the hope that coexists in this important struggle,” she said.
The 43 Reflections for Ayotzinapa: A Showcase of Hope exhibition will open this Friday at Articulate Project Space in Leichhardt and the photographs will be exhibited alongside works by Australian artist Ben Dunham.Opening Friday 17 April 6-8pm. Each photograph carries the name of one of the 43 disappeared students. The money raised through the sale of the photographs will go towards supporting the families involved.
The exhibition will be on display until May 3, Friday to Sunday from 11am-5pm.