Presentamos una galería especial del fotógrafo canadiense Larry Towell.
MEXICO. La Batea. Zacatecas. 1994. Mennonites.
CANADA. Ontario. Essex County. 1993.
CANADA. Ontario. 1993. Lambton County.
CANADA. Ontario. Lambton County. 1992. The Reddekop girls preparing their hair on Saturday afternoon. Old Colony Mennonite girls and women braid their hair on Saturday. The family is originally from the La Batea Colony, Zacatecas, Mexico.
CANADA. Ontario. Lambton County. 1995. Peter, Susanna and Benjamin Peters in the spring wheat.
MEXICO. La Batea, Zacatecas. 1992. Mennonite girl sitting at a table.
MEXICO. La Batea Colony, Zacatecas. 1992. Jacob Dyck’s wife sewing with her daughter Katarina at her knees. Many Mennonites have left Mexico due to poverty in hopes of finding seasonal farm in North America.
MEXICO. Durango. Young Mennonite women fleeing a cloud of dust. 1994.
EL SALVADOR. Perquin, Morazan. A dog is seen through the photographer’s eyeglasses. Perquin was one of the two «guerilla capitals» during the war. FMLN combatants were often seen lounging around the village during the day. In the evenings, they came into town to meet friends. The town was badly marred by fighting, and graffiti in support of the FMLN guerillas was seen on many neighbourhood buldings, many of which were adobe or adobe covered with cement. The peace accords were signed in January 1992 ending 12 years of civil war. Stone covered the streets and the hills were too poor to grow good crops. The best land lay in the south and was in the hands of the country’s landed elite, the 14 families who controlled most of El Salvador’s arable land. 1991.
EL SALVADOR. El Barillo. A government Army maneuver near Guazapa Mountain. Guazapa was a guerilla stronghold throughout the war. The woman in the stream is a recently returned refugee defied the army and returned to El Barillo after being driven out by the Army a few years earlier. The photographer was on an army maneuver with soldiers when the woman saw soldiers approaching and threw a towel over herself. Water is carried from the streams to homes for cooking and washing. At the time, there were no permanent houses in El Barillo. 1986.
San Salvador. 1989. Government soldiers disembark from an armoured personnel carrier in the wealthy suburb of Escalon. Guerillas had taken over a number of houses there during the November Offensive. Here, government forces assisted wealthy residents to evacuate before shelling started. This demonstrated a major difference in the way the government treated rich and poor residents. In poor neighborhoods, many civilians were shot if they were in the way.
San Salvador. 1989. A dead civilian woman lies on a sidewalk. She had probably been shot for breaking the 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew. In the background, government soldiers move forward to drive guerillas from the capital. Government straffing from the air, armoured personnel carriers, and then foot soldiers eventually drove the FMLN guerillas out.
EL SALVADOR. San Salvador. Two guerilla women inside emergency clinic set up to treat the wounded inside San Salvador during the November 1989 offensive. Women made up a large part of the guerilla fighting force. The fighting broke out on November 16, 1989, when an estimated 5000 guerillas showed up in the capital city and launched attacks from three sides, almost encircling the capital. The offensive was launched to push the government back to the bargaining table. In January 1992, the peace accords were finally signed ending 12 years of civil war in which 70,000 died. 1989.
Guarjila, Chalatenago. 1991. Dead guerilla lays in coffin looked upon by fellow combatants (women) following fighting in rural village of Guarjila. The by a tin roof. Civilians surround the combatants who support them. In the months before signing of the peace accords, fighting intensified as the government and guerillas attempted to gain bargaining chips. Women and children mixed in the guerilla ranks.
EL SALVADOR. San Jose las Flores, Chalatenango. FMLN guerillas rest after a day of fighting government soldiers in the cobblestone guerilla village of San Jose las Flores. Although FMLN guerillas usually fought with U.S.-made M-16s captured from the army, an Eastern European AKA leans against the post. Central America was an open market for guns throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Poverty remained the main reason for the conflict. 1991.
EL SALVADOR. 1992.
San Salvador. 1995. Former government soldier learning to cane chairs after the war. Many soldiers lost their feet to homemade landmines laid by guerillas, often made from nitrogen in imported fertilizer. The 12 year civil war left several thousand soldiers without feet. A homemade landmine would normally maim, while the U.S.-made Claymore landmines used by government forces against geurillas usually killed the person who tripped it. The brief «job-training» after the war was inadequate to help the maimed to find meaningful work again. Most of the government soldiers had been forcibly conscripted. Most were themselves, rural peasants. After the war, disabled guerillas and government soldiers united to lobby for more government aid for ex-combatants.
EL SALVADOR. San Salvador. Ex-government soldier learns to make wheel chairs for his fellow ex-combatants. 1992
EL SALVADOR. San Salvador. 1991. A daughter comforts her mother who passed out while grieving at the grave of her son who was killed by government death squads. Some 70,000 persons died in the 12-year civil war.
EL SALVADOR. San Salvador. 1988. Many families, displaced by fighting and poverty during the war, squatted where they could find land. In San Salvador’s General Cemetery and along it’s edge, lived dozens of such families, represented here by three generations. On this «Day Of The Dead», family members remember their dead and picnic on the graves of deceased relatives. El Salvador is a Roman Catholic country, the only country in the world to be named after the Christian Savior with its villages and towns named after Catholic saints.
AFGHANISTAN. 2008. Shomoli Plain. Ruins. Village region north of Kabul destroyed in the line of fire between Russian troops and the Mujahadeen, then the Northern Alliance and the Taliban. Afghanistan has known only invasion and civil war for the past 30 years.
AFGHANISTAN. Kabul. May, 2009. A shepherd and his flock amid ruins. Much of Kabul was destroyed in the line of fire between various factions of the Mujahideen before the Taliban was able to gain power.
AFGHANISTAN. Baghe Qazi. May, 2009. An Afghani shepherd and his flock amid ruined Russian military vehicles at a destroyed former Soviet base near Kabul.
AFGHANISTAN. Kabul. 2011. Ruins of former Russian military base.
AFGHANISTAN. Baghe Qazi. May, 2009. A destroyed former Soviet base near Kabul.
AFGHANISTAN. Kabul. May, 2009. Two million Afghanis died in the war against the Russians. Millions were maimed and wounded leaving the family wage earner incapacitated. Disabled Mujahideen fighters assemble for a political rally celebrating the anniversary of the Russian departure from Afghanistan.
AFGHANISTAN. Kabul. 2010. Boy being fitted with new prosthetic leg at the International Committee of the Red Cross treatment center. Most doctors and workshop employees are landmine victims.
AFGHANISTAN. Kabul. May, 2009. Heroin addict living at the former Russian Compound, a derelict and abandoned set of partially destroyed buildings once used as a Russian cultural center. The Russian compound is also part of the former frontline between various Mujahideen factions in a previous war. Currently used as opium den. The ex-Mujahideen fighter had lost his hands in a previous war.
AFGHANISTAN. Kabul. 2011. Child peers into ICRC (International Committee Of The Red Cross) vehicle during home visits to landmine victims and pediatric patients.
AFGHANISTAN. 2008. Tashquran village, Hilltop. Woman in burqua amid ruins. Village destroyed in the line of fire between Russian troops and the Mujahadeen, Afghanistan has known only invasion and civil war for the past 30 years.
AFGHANISTAN. Mazar-e-Sharif. 2009. Beggar.
AFGHANISTAN. Murad Khani, Kabul. 2008. Street scene. Old City of Kabul.
AFGHANISTAN. Kabul. 2009. Buzkashi, or «goat grabbing» is a traditional Central Asian team sport played on horseback by skilled riders who grab a headless goat or calf from the ground while riding a horse at full gallop. The goal is to grab the carcass, get it clear of the other players, and pitch it into a target circle.
AFGHANISTAN. Kabul. 2010. Kunar Valley. A US soldier in gunners turret of Mine resistant vehicle (MRAP).
AFGHANISTAN. Kandahar. 2011. ANA (Afghan national army) soldier wounded in Taliban attack being carried in Black Hawk MEDEVAC helicopter by Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 52nd Aviation Regiment, sub-unit TF (Task Force) LIFT.
AFGHANISTAN. Winter 2009. Kunar Province. Afghan National Army (ANA) recruits in training by US soldiers at Forward Operating Base (FOB) Bostick. The most northern of US military bases and the most active area for insurgent attacks is seldom visited by journalists. Its 3rd Batallion, 61st Cavalry regiment recently lost 8 soldiers at the nearby Observation Post (OP) Keating, which is now closed down. The Swat Valley of Pakistan is directly across the mountains.
AFGHANISTAN. Kabul. 2010. Village elder and daughter at ÒjirgaÓ over canal construction with US military Black Knight Troop in Kunar Valley.
From my Front Porch
CANADA. Lambton County, Ontario. 1995. Noah TOWELL, who has a fever, laying in an uninstalled basement window well in the spring season. His dog Banjo is barking. Two cats and Isaac’s playpen are on the front porch of the farmhouse.
CANADA. Lambton County, Ontario. 1996. Shadow of the photographer and his dog on the front porch of the farmhouse on his 75-acre farm. The house was originally built in the 1850s by pioneer land surveyer Samuel Smith.
CANADA. Lambton County, Ontario. 1990. Neighbor Sarah LEWIS pulls Naomi TOWELL in a homemade chidlren’s wagon with her dog along the township road. Most rural people have a dog for company, a family pet, and to an extent for security. They bark at night if strangers are around. Sinbad is the dog’s name.
CANADA. Lambton County, Ontario. 1990. Naomi TOWELL, left, and neighbor Sarah LEWIS feed cows from a bucket of corn in the pasture beside the photographer’s house. The farm is locally known as «Smith’s Falls», named after pioneer land surveyor Samuel Smith. The cows wander up to the house as they graze and you can see them in the early morning outside the kitchen window. Flies are buzzing around their heads. Their ear tags identify them for the local beef farmer, who, at any rate, knows them by name without their tags. He says they each have their own distinct personality. I have noticed this as well.
CANADA. Lambton County, Ontario. 1995. After his friend shaved his head, Moses TOWELL lies on a hand crocheted bedspread that his mother Ann made. His bedroom window faces the south pasture. You can hear the cows in the morning grazing by the window, or at night, moving in a herd. Moses shaved his head as it was the style at the time. Even country boys can be in style. Moses went away to camp this summer, bald head and all.
CANADA. Lambton County, Ontario. 1990. Naomi TOWELL with her cat in a hollow black locust tree.
Por Óscar Colorado Nates*
Músico y poeta, se hizo fotógrafo freelance en 1984. Entre sus primeros proyectos se encuentran la guerra de los Contras en Nicaragua y la guerra civil en El Salvador. Realizó también ensayos sobre el derrame del Exxon Valdez.
Larry Towell fue el primer fotógrafo canadiense en formar parte de la agencia Magnum Photos. Ha trabajado en El Salvador, Palestina, Guatemala, Líbano, Nicaragua, Vietnam, Afganistán, México y su propio país.
Ha sido distinguido con más de 25 premios y fotográficos entre los que se cuentan más importantes del mundo: The Hasselblad Award, World Press Photo y The Alfred Eisenstaedt Award, Oskar Barnack Awar, W. Eugene Smith Foundation Award, Ernst Haas Foundation Award, entre otros.
Towell creció en una familia rural en Ontario. Estudió en la York University en Toronto, donde comenzó su interés en la fotografía. Luego se hizo voluntario para colaborar en Calcuta y ahí comenzó a inquietarse por la distribución de la riqueza, la posesión y desposesión de la tierra.
Trabaja con película analógica y siempre en blanco y negro. Es un creador que se ha aproximado a la multimedia.
Entre sus libros destcan El Salvador (1997), The Mennonites (2000), No Man’s Land (2005) y The World From My Front Porch (2008).
La obra de Towell es de un gran cuidado en lo compositivo, siempre atento al instante decisivo. En su trabajo se puede sentir la intimidad con el sujeto y una gran capacidad para empatizar; entra a las casas, se relaciona con las familias y eso se nota en sus fotos. Por esta razón el observador conecta inmediatamente con estos ambientes íntimos, y al mismo tiempo se siente en choque cuando, por ejemplo, en El Salvador la guerra llega, destruye, mata o mutila. Towell nos brinda una familiaridad con sus motivos que amplifican el drama cuando algo terrible ocurre en estas comunidades.
Larry Towell vive en Ontario (Lambton County) y tiene una granja junto con su esposa con quien ha procreado cuatro hijos.
Elkaim, Aaron Vincent. “You Will Change: Magnum Photographer Larry Towell Has Advice for Young Photojournalists.” https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/you-will-change-magnum-photographer-larry-towell-has-advice-for-photojournalists-519
Taylor, Mark. “Veteran Canadian Photojournalist Larry Towell Won’t Ever Stop.” https://www.thetyee.ca/Mediacheck/2014/02/13/Larry-Towell-Photojournalist/
World Press Photo. “Larry Towell. Photographer, Canada.” https://www.worldpressphoto.org/people/larry-towell
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