Tulane University Online Exhibits

Erika Diettes - Sudarios

Dublin Core


Erika Diettes - Sudarios


Women; Punishment & torture; Grief


SHROUDS (Sudarios) is the result of multiple theoretical concerns, an infinity of technical quests and an observation of the world from a certain context.

My decision to create this work comes from some questions which have remained from previous photographic series, but are the consequences of the same process which began with my series SILENCES (Silencios, 2004), which deals with survivors of the Second World War who live in Colombia.

They are also to be found in DRIFTING AWAY (Río Abajo), a series which deals with the victims of forced disappearance, and BY FORCE OF BLOOD (A Punta de Sangre), a series in which I examine the idea of the search for the bodies of the disappeared by their families, who, in the midst of despair, find a ray of hope in the vultures that might lead them to the remains of their loved ones. To date I have received the testimonies of more than 300 victims of the violence in Colombia. They have confided intimacies of this violence to me: not only its harrowing details but the way they rebuild their lives and keep going despite what they have suffered.

Many times, with my camera, I have been a witness of the moment when people have to close their eyes as they recall the event which divided their life into two parts. The intention of the SHROUDS series is to enable the spectator to enter into and walk through these impenetrable and apparently alien worlds, when he observes that moment in which these women close their eyes because they find no other way to communicate the true dimension of the horror which they witnessed and the intensity of the sorrow they were subjected to.

The women who serve as the models in SHROUDS were first-hand witnesses of acts of horror. They were forced to feel on their own flesh or in front of their own eyes that there is no difference between man and the most savage beasts of nature; or rather, that there is a difference and it is that we are the only species capable of mass murder and the only ones who do not adapt to our own kind (N. Timbergen, 1968).


Diettes, Erika


Howard-Tilton Memorial Library, Tulane University


Diettes, Erika


Copyright is held by Erika Diettes