During our very exciting showcase of the Terry O’Neill Award finalists here at The Strand Gallery, we want to take the time to really delve into the work of the exhibited photographers to give you wonderful viewers a deeper insight into the people behind the lens. Today we will be looking at the works of Javier Arcenillas, whose series ‘Red Note’ won him the First Runner Up place.
WARNING: These photographs depict delicate scenes of violence which some viewers may find upsetting.
Arcenillas creates essays about a world that has become increasingly indifferent to human suffering and loss of human rights. His work has been covered by Time Magazine, Der Spiegel, GEO, National Geographic, Le Monde 2, El periódico de Guatemala, Miami Herald and Esquire Spain.
Red Note is a sociological essay on violence in Latin America – the most violent region in the world – that shows the protagonists and victims in their intense drama and misery. The daily theartre of murder, war and pain is the main news of the day on the streets of cities like San Pedro Sula where murder, robbery and violence anre increasingly present.
Sicarios are contract killers or hired assassins – generally professional assassins who act as mercenaries, offering their services to the highest bidder. In Latin America, they constitute actual organised gangs and even form part of important paramilitary groups.
In Latin America, children train as Sicarios as a regular job, attracted by the ease of earning money that gives them respect and inspires fear. The failure to protect children from becoming desensitised to violence is alarming.
These incredible shots are dramatic, stunning, upsetting, and above all, raw and powerful. It is a body of work like this that truly brings to light how others in the world live.
All images © Javier Arcenillas
For further examples of Arcenillas’ work, check out his website here.
These shots will be exhibited as part of the Terry O’Neill Awards at The Strand Gallery until 26th January.