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The exhibition by photojournalist Gervasio Sánchez, presented simultaneously in Barcelona, Madrid and León, is an extensive documentary photography project about forced disappearance in ten countries in Latin America, Asia and Europe.

The Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona, La Casa Encendida de Obra Social Caja Madrid and the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León simultaneously present the exhibition “The Disappeared”, curated by photojournalist Sandra Balsells. This photographic show by photojournalist Gervasio Sánchez addresses the theme of forced disappearance in Chile, Argentina, Peru, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Iraq, Cambodia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Spain between 1998 and 2010.

“The Disappeared” represents a forceful document against forgetting and aims to salvage the suppressed memory of people disappeared during various wars and processes of repression. The presentation of the exhibition forms part of a major cultural action which, for the first time on the Spanish expository scene, involves the simultaneous exhibition in three cities (León, Barcelona and Madrid) of a macro photographic project centring on a single theme, by the same author.

Each centre will show a broad but completely different selection of photographs, making it a truly new expository proposal (MUSAC: 79 photographs and installation of portraits, "Cruelty and Pain", the joint work of Gervasio Sánchez and Ricardo Calero; La Casa Encendida: 73 photographs and 4 murals with 40 portraits; CCCB: 103 photographs and 4 murals with 40 portraits). The three exhibitions share the same narrative structure and thematic blocks, and all three end with a significant epilogue devoted to Spain, dealing with the present-day process of search for and exhumation of people who disappeared during the Civil War and the Francoist dictatorship.

In addition to photographic material, the exhibition includes two audiovisual recordings explaining the testimonies of the families of disappeared people and reproducing the ambient sound of detention centres and burial places.

In the framework of the exhibition, the three centres will also be organizing conferences to reflect on and debate the phenomenon of forced disappearance.

1. The installations used to torture and “disappear” the victims, such as prisons, detention centres, barracks and chupaderos

2. Memorials erected to immortalize the memory of the disappeared

3. Portraits of family members of victims of forced disappearance

4. Objects belonging to disappeared people

5. The process of searching for disappeared people

6. The process of exhumation of remains found in mass graves

7. Warehouses used to keep exhumed remains

8. The task of identifying exhumed remains, carried out by teams of forensic anthropologists

9. The handing over of identified remains to families

10. The process of burial

11. Epilogue: the disappeared in Spain


Gervasio Sánchez’s relation with the drama of the disappeared goes back to Guatemala in 1984, when he started his professional career as a freelance journalist specializing in armed conflicts. He has since covered many wars and carried out various long-term projects about the victims. In the course of his 25-year career, the theme of forced disappearance has been a constant in the work of this photographer who has travelled extensively in a number of countries affected by this problem. “The Disappeared” is his biggest project to date.

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Visit to the exhibition with Gervasio Sánchez

We visit the exhibition "Disappeared" in the company of photojournalist Gervasio Sánchez, who took the photographs on show at the CCCB, La Casa Encendida and MUSAC in León. "Disappeared" is a documentary exhibition about forced disappearances in ten countries in Latin America, ...

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