Museo de los Heroes y Martires, Leon
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After receiving my undergraduate degree with an emphasis on U.S. foreign policy in Central America, I wanted to move beyond the broad recital of policy and ideology within textbooks and explore the personal experiences of individuals directly affected by those policies. This body of work was created between the years 2009 and 2011, during a prolonged stay in the highlands of Northern Nicaragua. These photographs are from a larger series consisting of portraits of Sandinistas and their opposing Contra veterans, as well as artifacts and landscapes significant to the civil war that took place in Nicaragua during the 1980s. In 1979, after over a decade of struggle, the socialist Sandinista movement in Nicaragua overthrew the dictator, Anastasio Somoza. The Sandinistas quickly began the work of applying their 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/communist 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 guerrillas became known as Contras. Between 1980 and 1990, Nicaragua became the battleground of conflicting political ideologies; the promise of a bright future was lost as the nation descended into civil war. Although these two sides held polarized political philosophies, their survivors are united by the burden of a war-torn history. As political ideology evolves, dilutes or disappears, the horrors of war endure. This photograph belongs to Los Restos de la Revolucion (Remains of the Revolution), a powerful series published in 2012 by Daylight Books, in which Kunishi documents the artifacts and lingering realities of the civil war in Nicaragua.
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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