Sofia and Alia

12 / 50 by Gervasio Sánchez, 2007

Sofía y Alia, © Gervasio Sánchez, VEGAP, Madrid, 2021

Gervasio Sánchez is one of world’s most famous Spanish reporters, honored on numerous occasions with awards such as Spain’s National Photography Award in 2009 or the Ortega y Gasset Award in 2008. His photographs are characterized by a deep honesty and sincerity.

In 1998 he began a project which would eventually materialize in his book Vidas minadas, about the impact that this type of silent weapons has on civilians, often even years after the conflict has ended. As part of this project, he traveled to Mozambique where he met Sofia, the main character of a story she never wanted to live. A victim, like so many others, of a land mine that severed her two legs when she was only eleven years old. When he met her in 2007, Sofia was about to turn 25, had two children and was a high school student. Her greatest desires were to get a job and to be able to study medicine at the university.

Gervasio Sánchez photographs allow us to touch those scars left by injustice so we can feel that necessary itching triggered by an uncomfortable truth, as bleeding as it may be.