Gervasio Sanchez: “It is not the same to be a woman than a man in war”

WorldGervasio Sanchez: "It is not the same to be...

  • The photojournalist collects 90 shocking images of women and girls imprisoned in 25 conflicts over the course of their long careers in her latest book

  • The presentation of the work coincides with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

“It’s not the same as being a woman at war as a man,” says photojournalist Gervasio Sanchez. “There is very specific violence against women in an armed conflict,” he says. Sanchez knows this very well, first hand, because he lives close to the groundA part of the tragedies the world has faced over the past four decades has always been with his camera and notebook.

The author of several books and winner of the most prestigious awards in journalism, Sánchez now presents, which coincides with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, with the work ‘Violence, Mujeres, Guerras’, a volume 90 shocking pictures of women and girls Victims of wars, military dictatorships and humanitarian crises. The first photo is from 1984, in Guatemala. The latter took over the defenses of refugees in the central Mediterranean.

Edited with the help of the Aragonese Institute for Women, the author takes us through 25 conflicts: nine African, seven Latin American, five Asian and four European. Rape of women and girls, mutilated by bombs or mines, victims of extreme poverty or diseases typical of displaced persons or war refugees. There is also no shortage of mothers who have spent decades searching for their missing husbands or children and “that after so much searching they forget their lives“, say the photojournalist.

name and surname

“It has been a very painstaking and selective job. I have had to choose between over 500 photographs”. Each of the images—many of them in portrait format, where the protagonists are seen looking at the camera— with a text Which brings the reader even closer to the tragedy experienced by the protagonist. “I like to personalize stories, give the first and last names of the people I photograph, make the images relevant,” says the author. “The media talks about the number of victims, and the more zeros there are in that number, the more relevance the information is given. But behind that number are people with names and surnames with a story behind it. Is.”

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Sanchez is sorry for the “superficial” surveillance that the media does on armed conflicts. “Afghanistan recently became fashionable with the takeover of the Taliban. And they all knew the country and the conflict very well. These ‘experts’, many of them haven’t even lived in the country, didn’t stop talking about it Tragedy done to Afghan women,” she says. ,They seem to have forgotten that 42 years ago Afghanistan It has been at war since the Soviet invasion, and Afghan women have always been the victims. “Wars do not end when the weapons are silenced.

crimes against humanity

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It also emphasizes the inaction of the international community against all forms of abuse faced by women in situations of extreme violence. Since 2010, the United Nations calls for the prosecution of those responsible for rape. and other forms of sexual violence in conflict zones, acts that constitute crimes against humanity. “It was only a decade since this resolution was passed, when it has been a common practice throughout history,” recalls the photojournalist.

“When everything collapses and the bridges of coexistence are broken, man’s insatiable thirst for violence appears”, the author writes. Preface Title “Get My Body Out of the War”: Specific violence against women, commonly used as a weapon of war, is part of the greater tragedy. This book helps not to forget it.

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