In honor of the International Day of Peace and Peace Week, Lenscratch has partnered with the National Center for Civil and Human Rights to feature photographic projects highlighting the lasting impacts of war, conflict, and displacement. Lauren Tate Baeza
Wars are fought by soldiers and rebels, but they spare no one. The compounding fallout often spans for generations. This week’s selections examine burdens inherited by families and other bystanders. The Guatemalan Civil War lasted from 1960 to 1996, when peace accords were signed between guerillas and the military dictatorship. The war left hundreds of thousands of civilians dead or disappeared, a disproportionate amount of which were indigenous Mayan groups and rural poor the military considered supportive of guerillas. Rodrigo Abd’s series, Exhumations, includes emotive depictions of the retrieval of remains found at mass gravesites and, more than a decade after the war, the ongoing process of reconciliation as forensics aid in trial proceedings and family members provide proper burials for their loved ones in accordance with cultural and ancestral tradition.
Rodrigo Abd seeks out the places in Guatemala that most people avoid — hospital wards, prisons, crime scenes and mass graves. He forgoes the country’s lush volcanic landscapes for cinderblock walls and grimy alleys, seeing in each scene an echo of the nation’s recent past, where 36 years of civil war gave way to equally devastating gang and drug violence.