Cemetery 5km Outside of Quilali
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In 1979, after over a decade of struggle, the socialist Sandinista movement in Nicaragua overthrew the dictator, Anastasio Somoza Debayle, and ended the family's more than forty-year reign. The Sandinista National Liberation Front, or FSLN, quickly began the work of applying its social and ideological values in the hopes of creating a better Nicaragua. Unfortunately, the United States government had other plans. In the Cold War environment of the 1980s, the prospect of a socialist government gaining a foothold in Central America was deemed unacceptable. The CIA began financing, arming and training a clandestine rebel insurgency to destabilize the government. These anti-Sandinista counter-revolutionaries became known as Contras. Between 1980 and 1990, Nicaragua was the battleground of conflicting political ideologies. The promise of a bright future was lost as the nation descended into civil war. Twenty years later, between 2009 and 2010, I traveled throughout Northern Nicaragua to consider the legacy left behind. These photographs are notational records of that experience; they are an attempt to move beyond broad ideology and rhetoric, and navigate the collective memory of those involved. Although at one time sharply divided by two polarized political philosophies, the survivors are now bound by a landscape filled with physical and psychological scars. The markers of affiliation are slowly fading, but the horrors of war remain.
Kevin Kunishi | See All Editions
Kevin Kunishi has been based in the San Francisco Bay Area since 2004, where he continues to work on numerous projects both at home and around the globe. His book Los Restos de la Revolucion (Remains of the Revolution), was published in 2012 by Daylight Books, in which Kunishi documents the artifacts and lingering realities of the civil war in Nicaragua. His work has been recognized by numerous organizations and publications, including the New Yorker, American Photo Magazine, Sunday Telegraph, the International Photography Awards,VICE, the New York Photo Festival, AI-AP, ONWARD, Photo District News, CENTER, Photolucida, Monocle, Fast Company, CMYK Magazine, Photographer’s Forum and Prix de la Photographie, Paris (PX3). His work has been shown nationally at Project Basho in Philadelphia, PA, Rayko Photo Center in San Francisco, CA, the Detroit Center for Contemporary Photography, the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C. and the Jen Bekman Gallery in New York. In 2011 he was the honorary recipient of the Blue Earth Alliance Award for Best Photography Project, an award that honors projects that demonstrate excellence in the field of photography.
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