Wara Vargas Lara – Paredes que Hablan

“I felt dying, each interrogation meant torture and violence, but I kept my hope that somebody would try to find out” – Victoria Lopez, former political prisoner.

KAMERA ∞ Gallery
27 September – 19 October, 2019

Opening Reception: September 27th, 7.00 pm
Exhibition opening by Dr. Chris O’Connel, lecturer at Dublin City University.
Our Address: 5 Rowe Street Lr., Wexford Eircode: Y35 RDX9
Click HERE for map & directions

KAMERA∞ has the pleasure to present a ‘PAREDES QUE HABLAN’ [WALLS THAT TALK], a Photographic Documentary Exhibition by Bolivian Photographer Wara Vargas Lara

Underground locations [dungeons] keep their silence about a part of our history.

“They are taking us away to the ministry” were the last words Teresa could shout as she and a fellow student were lifted into a van. It was 1976 when Teresa, a student leader of her faculty, was fighting with fellow students for the human rights of peasants and workers.

“Confess, who are your bosses”? They shouted at Teresa, while she had to endure electro-shocks to her breasts.

On the 22nd of August 2011 the “Museo de la Memoria Historica/Museum to the Memory of History” opened.

The first visitors were the victims of political violence, who with tears in their eyes walked, free at last, through the space of former confinement. These first visitors, including myself, were mute. Without knowing, we silently shared the respect for the victims of political violence and for those who disappeared. Nobody spoke but watched in horror the inscriptions written in blood or scratched with stones into/onto the walls:

Names, dates, calendars and splashes of blood made during the government of Barrientos and Banzer.

“They hung us from the ceiling and drenched us with urine”, remembers Julio Llanos, who at that time was a union leader in Colquiri. His hand shows missing phalanges of the middle-finger, testimony of his stay in these underground facilities. The so-called wardrobes, enclosures of one square meter, were sites prisoners were tortured in. “We could hear their cries, but we had no contacts with other prisoners”, explains Julio.

One year after the “opening” of this museum only those, who [with me] descended-upon    this place, have seen it. Because after our visit it was never opened to the public again!

“I felt dying, each interrogation meant torture and violence, but I kept my hope that somebody would try to find out, where I was”…is the statement of Victoria Lopez. Like her thousand people thought they were dying and sadly some did die in the torture cells.

Wara Vargas Lara
[translated by michael snoek]