Lorena Velasco is a Colombian documentary photographer. Her work is known for being introspective and symbolic, exploring cultural identity and familiar topics. She is currently the director of the university photo club at the University of Cauca-Popayán and co-founder of Female Latin American Photographers, a foundation dedicated to the visibility and promotion of emerging female photographers in Latin America.
One of her pictures from her project project Memorias Del Silencio (Memories of Silence), won the second-place in the portrait category at POY LATAM 2018.
Memories of Silence is an intimate and family portrait, a journey through her own memories, a poetic attempt to re-build a lost relationship with her grandparents through the use of symbolic and personal elements that build up in a visual narrative.
Her grandfather has been suffering from a hearing impairment since the age of 60 and this disability has isolated him away from her. Throughout this project and through the use of images, Lorena tries develops a new vehicle of communication with her grandfather, to reconnect with the past that got lost in the silence.
Through his writings, her grandfather tries to note down a series of codes, drawings, daily routines and movements that allow him to preserve memories and register new experiences to his memory of silence. His body and skin are a witness of time which Lorena tries to de-code through the use of portraiture, a way to understand him and listen to his new language.
Her grandmother is a breast cancer survivor and she represents the women’s struggle in a hostile environment. Portrayed as a woman of unbreakable strength and spirit, an example of courage, she is a great inspiration to her.
Being together is what keeps them alive. I can feel their fears, their loneliness and their happiness, I can interpret their emotions and recognize myself in their eyes, because we are not strangers anymore.