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Spotlight

favelas in the company of residents and journalists in the day, and with police at night, Basoli negotiated the feelings of being at risk. She notes that acknowledging risks can create a false sense of security where, in reality, there is little or no control at all. On occasion she recognised only later how dangerous some situations had been. But being in these areas provided the access she needed to be close to the violence – she was once only 50 meters from a shooting – and to see its aftermath. This body of work has yet to be published in Venezuela although one image was used by the Caracas daily, El Universal: “I found this woman who lost three kids, killed in separate situations in her neighbourhood. I interviewed her in a secure area of Caracas but then I wanted to take a picture of her in her home. I tried every taxi in Caracas and no one wanted to take me to Barrio Unión, where she lives. I knew it was dangerous, but later on I realised it was one of the three most ‘red’ areas in Caracas. As none of the taxis wanted to take me there, I called my friend who

The father of this girl (left) was killed by a single shot as he was robbed. San Martín, Caracas Friends and family of the deceased (above) carry the coffin from his house to the cemetery. The wake took place in his bedroom. Cota 905, Caracas

is a journalist at El Universal. We never imagined it would be the front page!” Her story had led to another story: “Once we arrived we were surrounded by a gang and we got into this woman’s house and called the police. When the police came they arrested many of them. Next day the papers said ‘A dangerous band dismantled in El Petare’.” Basoli plans to work on other projects related to violence in the future, in the United States and perhaps in Spain, though for now she continues to focus on Caracas. Would she ever choose to work in a militarised war zone such as Iraq? “Definitely not… Few photographers know how to document wars. It is extremely difficult to do a good job in a war like Iraq.” (“And I’m only 26,” she adds. “My parents don’t deserve it!”) Arguably, few photographers know how to photograph urban violence either, to convey both its horror and its precise human detail. Leo Hsu Lurdes Basoli – www.lurdesbasoli.com 21

Issue 24  

Issue 24: Resistance

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