A photo exhibition depicts the horror 25 years after the worst terrorist attack in Argentina
The exhibition "Twenty-five" is composed of 38 recent studio photos based on 19 stories and others from the time of the terrorist attack against the Argentinian Mutual Israelite Association (AMIA), all made by photographer Julio Menajovsky
A man stands amid pictures of victims of the bombing of the AMIA Jewish center that killed 85 people, on the 25th anniversary of the attack in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Thursday, July 18, 2019/ AP Photo/ Natacha Pisarenko
Reuters | Lucila Sigal
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A photographic exhibition about unexpected links emerged after the attack on a Jewish community center in Argentina seeks to denounce the lack of justice that persists 25 years later and show how the worst terrorist attack in the history of the country is still present.
Leer en español: Dolor e impunidad atraviesan muestra de fotos a 25 años del peor atentado terrorista en Argentina
The exhibition "Twenty-five" is composed of 38 recent studio photos based on 19 stories and others from the time of the terrorist attack against Argentinian Mutual Israelite Association (AMIA) made by photographer Julio Menajovsky, one of the first graphic reporters to reach the place that tragic morning of July 18, 1994, to portray the horror.
A woman who lost her daughter next to a man whose father died in the attack, a merchant next to the doctor who saved his life, two employees who had to go to work and did not go are some of the protagonists of the exhibition, which was inaugurated at the Argentinian Consulate in New York in June, will be presented in August at the CCK in Buenos Aires and in November in Paris.
"The lack of justice causes that, 25 years later, the attack continues to be present, and that an atrocious act perpetrated in 1994 is systematically repeated, we wanted to work on that idea," said Elio Kapszuk, Art and Production Director of AMIA, author of the idea and curator of the exhibition.
"We asked Julio (Menajovsky) to take new photographs that had connection points with those baroque images, loaded with drama, taken after 09.53 in the morning when the bomb killed 85 people and left more than 300 injured," he added in a press release.
The recent photos are neutral studio pictures, stripped, in black and white, of people whose lives changed forever after the attack, and are opposed to the images taken immediately after the explosion in order to bridge past and present, renew the demand for justice and denounce impunity.
Last Thursday marked the 25th anniversary of the car bombing of AMIA in Argentina, which has the largest Jewish community in Latin America.
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On July 18, 1994, Menajovsky was on the street to do a job as a photojournalist when he heard a loud explosion. His instincts took him to the site of the attack in the center of Buenos Aires and to take "in an astonished way" images that later toured the world and were recorded in the collective memory of Argentinians.
"These pictures were kept in an imaginary box and I thought I had to do something with that, but I never knew what or how. AMIA team's proposal allowed me to open that box," Menajovsky told Reuters in a telephonic interview.
Menajovsky said that at the time of the attack he could not establish any distance with what he was photographing and that, 25 years later, those images gained special value because of the immediacy they entail.
"When we made an appointment with the persons, in the previous moments (to the photo), stories of the attack reappeared as if they had been yesterday, I could not believe that 25 years later it was so present, so alive, so immediate, the moment of the attack. Of course, that also transported me to that morning," he said.
"And somehow I feel that climate invaded the photo, as the attack reappeared in the physical position, in the look, in the gesture, in the small anecdotes," he concluded.