Ni Una Mas

Since 1993, almost 400 women in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua,
Mexico, a town on the U.S./Mexico border, have been violently murdered
without reason or explanation (Amnesty International). For the most
part, they all fit a certain description; pretty, petite, dark haired,
and extremely poor (Teresa Rodriguez 2007). There are several theories
as to who is behind the killings, ranging from cults, to drug dealers,
to police themselves, however the cases remain unsolved. Many citizens
in Juarez feel as though government has not done enough to solve these
cases and prevent future killings. Ni Una Mas, (Not One More), has
become a sort of battle cry to end the femicide in Juarez, and ordinary
citizens have felt compelled to take the matter into their own hands.
This is the truth that this photograph claims to reveal.

March 2002. @lina pallotta


The claim is made by information included in the composition of the
photograph. It is a photograph of a piece of artwork created to honor
these slain women and girls, but the way it is composed allows it to
become more than just a documentation of the art piece. By showing the
geographic location of the piece, its impact on the community, and at
the center of the photograph the words Ni Una Mas, it becomes a
documentation of the movement that it seeks to represent, perhaps even
to aid.

The angle of the shot allows for information to be included which
places the photograph geographically. Starting in the upper-left corner
moving diagonally to the lower-right side of the photograph is a red
sign with white letters which say El Paso Del Norte, or The Pass of the
North. This sign hangs over the checkpoint which cars drive through to
cross the border into El Paso, Texas, so its inclusion allows one to
locate the photograph on the U.S./Mexico border. The border location is
significant because this is an issue affecting Juarez women on that
border.

The art piece consists of a red board with black nails and a large
wooden cross with a red Ni Una Mas sign in the center. Though this
piece contains enough emotion to represent the movement on its own, the
photographer also includes two grieving women hanging the name of a
slain woman on one of the nails, showing the impact this femicide is
having on the border community. These women represent the hundreds of
heartbroken mothers, sisters, grandmothers, aunts, and friends who have
suffered a great loss which had yet to be avenged, and will never be
justified.

The red Ni Una Mas sign is not only the center of the art piece, but
the center of the photograph as well. This central placement represents
the social movement and its surroundings; the location on the border,
the black nails/victims, and the grieving women.

I am convinced by the claim this photograph makes. I am emotionally
invested in this issue, having grown up on the border, and because of
my continued dedication to reading and researching about it. I have
driven by this piece of art several times, and always been moved by it.
Knowing a great deal about the issue, and the movement, I believe this
photograph represents all aspects well.

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