ABSENCE intertwines three stories in a poetic and powerful narrative, between images and texts it tells the story of three women whose lives have been deeply marked by absence, fundamental issues in Mexico and the world today: forced disappearance, femicide, migration, and family violence, and a judicial, social and political system where impunity prevails.
ABSENCE, is composed of three books united in one piece through a binding that allows each story to be seen in itself and at the same time interweaves them into an object that conveys the fragility of its content. It also includes two booklets on fragile paper that reinforce the intimacy of the contents.
Each book bears the name of the protagonist.
¨Gemma¨ is the story of a 25 year old young woman, victim of an enforced disappearance in 2011. Mariceu collaborated for years with Gemma Mávil’s parents, who opened her intimate world, her life, diaries, poems, photos, paintings. Images and texts give us a glimpse into a life suspended in time that was interrupted at the moment of her disappearance.
The book ¨Iriana¨, tells how during a trip to Cuba, a couple “adopts Mariceu, as their daughter”, who migrated from the island for social and economic reasons, sharing with her their nostalgia and longing.
The book “Mariceu, gives cohesion to the three books, through the voice of the author, who explores over time the fragility that she and her sisters lived from childhood due to the absent father figure, their social and economic situation, revealing the experiences of violence to which she and her sisters were exposed. The narrative becomes a process of immersion in Mariceu’s own absences, in a transit through the deepest part of her own history, those unconscious roots that have led her to the urgent need to dive through the experience of absence and the layers in the personal and social history of others.
Mariceu Erthal recieved the Eugene Smith Award 2020 with the project ¨Letters to Gemma¨that conforms the chapter ¨Gemma¨ in Absence. -Publisher