Drifting Away. Photographs and text by Erika Diettes. Erika Diettes, 2008. Unpaged, 17 color transparencies, 9½x6". In a limited edition of 250 signed and numbered copies.
"In Drifting Away my intention is to draw attention to some of the victims of forced disappearances of the Colombian armed conflict. The project is a response to a number of press reports and news broadcasts which explain how the paramilitaries and the guerrillas torture people, mutilate them and make them disappear by throwing their bodies into a river. This is the source of the saying that the rivers of Colombia are the world's largest graveyard.
I started by looking for clothing or objects belonging to people who had disappeared in Bogota, and then I went out to the areas of conflict in visits to Eastern Antioquia, Caqueta and Medellin, amongst other places.
During these macabre visits I was able to talk to the families of the victims, who are indeed the voice of all Colombia, clamoring not only for the respect for life, but also for the right to be able to be able to bury their dead.
From a technical point of view, I decided to represent the idea of the river literally, submerging the clothing or objects in water, in order to highlight the way in which the turbulence of water is also a leading feature of the image. I also decided to print on glass to give the feeling of ethereal and fragility character of the image - and so therefore, of life in those parts of our country."
More about Erika Diettes (exhibitions, background, etc) on her website.