Ritual after rituals
at Solano Fonseca's house, Cocorote, Edo Lara, Venezuela, 2012
Here I am with Solano Fonseca. He and his family gave me shelter the night before going to the ambush site to drape the cloth. When I went back to his home two weeks later, we went through a path towards the river's edge. I wanted to see and video this river since I had learned that my father had waded it the night before the ambush to evade the military siege. Señor Fonseca carried a machete with him all the time—just in case, we might encounter venomous snakes.
Señor Fonseca has a beautiful and proud way about carrying himself. For my closing ritual, I asked him to bestow a "knighthood" on me with his machete. He blessed me with his acknowledgement of our kinship through our connection to this land.
These pictures were taken on May 29th at dusk. With the help volunteered by the campesinos from the hamlet of Cocorote, the long white fabric in the images was draped near the ambush location that occurred decades ago. With this we made an impermanent memorial to those killed and disappeared there by the Venezuelan army in the 1960s. Initially, there were 100 meters of cloth. Given the uneven mountain terrain, we could not attach it full length and had to reduce it to about 60 meters. The pictures were taken from the home of Solano Fonseca, an elder campesino from Cocorote who was one of the participants. Cocorote is situated about 6km from the mountain where the participatory action took place.
A video of this action is here: Ritual N.3: Crosses and White Fabric.