Descent into chaos
“I guess that photographing my own country’s decay put me in a position where I wasn’t able to take too much distance from the things and people I photographed. I often feel like by photographing them, their pain and struggle, I’m photographing a part of myself.”
Adriana Loureiro Fernandez is a Venezuelan freelance photojournalist based in Caracas.
She specializes in non-traditional conflict and the impact it has on larger areas such as migration and social justice. A witness of her own country’s collapse, she started creating her work at a very young age. In 2012 she began photographing her everyday life, without much of a purpose other than justifying her presence in certain events. But, as she would learn, her everyday life wasn’t normal. It often involved witnessing violence and poverty, and friends who got lost in those dynamics. Once she found photography as a way of processing what she witnessed, she found herself.
She documented the inescapable toll of Venezuela’s steep descent into chaos —a crisis that spares no one and leaves nothing untouched. It shaped her approach to stories, so that I look for intimacy and the casual, unsuspected moments within extraordinary situations. Even in her work outside of Venezuela, she is now able to engage deeply with the subjects she photographs because of her experience documenting her home country.
What makes Fernandez’ work so successful is her desire to be deep in the conflict she photographs, even the potentially dangerous situations she puts herself in. Her bravery and closeness to her subjects makes for impactful work that can open the eyes of observers to a world they didn’t know about.
“I have a strong belief that by doing my job, I can assure them that their struggle won’t be forgotten or overlooked. That we, as a society, won’t forget.”
all images © Adriana Loureiro Fernandez