Behind bars: Latin America women prisons as seen by Ana Maria Arévalo

·1-min read

Photographer Ana Maria Arévalo "Dias Eternos" focuses on the condition in detention centers and jails for women in Venezuela, El Salvador and Guatemala.

"When I talked to these women, they told me that they didn't know their lawyers. They didn't know when they were going to be released. And I felt very ashamed that I didn't know about the dreadful reality of these women. That's the moment when I decided to do this work," Ana Maria Arevalo told RFI English.

Arevalo started her project in 2017 in Venezuela after visiting a detention centre and finished it in 2019.

Thanks to the Camille Lepage grant she won, she was able to extend her project to El Salvador and Guatemala.

She found out that for female prisoners there is no assistance offered to help them return to normal life and mainstream society.

They are locked away in overcrowded cells, deprived of everything, in violation of their fundamental human rights.

"Getting inside the prisons is not the most important. The most important part is to gain their trust," explains Arevalo.

"I usually take off my shoes and I tell the guard to let me inside the cell and sit down and just talk to them.I don't take my camera out at the beginning."

Her series "Dias Eternos" is on display until 11 September at Visa pour l'image in Perpignan.