Visions of Venezuela


Photojournalist Gaby Oraa captures the emotion and everyday life of Venezuela in a way we many of us have not seen before.  

She revisits her meeting with an elderly gentleman, Enrique: “ I started photographing Enrique and a month later he died of cancer. The family is so poor they obviously never had the resources to get any medical exams, they never even knew he had cancer. He did mention to me last time I saw him, that he felt abandoned. He left his wife and three daughters. Really sad story of an abandoned healthcare system.”

In explaining to CIJN why she chose these images as her submission, this was her response:

I want you to know my approach in the essay, as something I felt while I was photographing people’s everyday life. It’s like they are all waiting for “something”, while they strive to survive obviously, but they are in a constant wait. Waiting for the United States to invade, waiting for the box of food from Maduro, waiting for the opposition to do something, waiting for a “leader” to tell them what to do, waiting for a “Messiah” to make it all better, etc. Venezuela is a very catholic country too. It’s the reason why I thought of closing it with the Jesus statue on a stormy dramatic day. In a way it represents what Venezuelans are waiting for….. a miracle… a bit sad and dramatic and not so optimistic, I know, but that’s Venezuela.”

  • Massive protest against Pres. Nicolas Maduro. Caracas, Venezuela on February 11, 2019.
  • The Holy Socialist Trinity. A group of people wearing protective masks walk by a mural of Hugo Chavez, Simón Bolivar and Nicolas Maduro in the impoverished neighborhood of Jose Felix Ribas, in Caracas, Venezuela on March 11 2020.
  • Kids play in a pool in a settlement where more than 30 families live side by side in the impoverished neighborhood of Petare during a COVID-19 Lockdown in Caracas, Venezuela on June 30, 2020.
  • Cars in line waiting to refuel the tanks of their vehicles in Caracas, Venezuela on September 09, 2020.
  • View of Caracas from the "Petare" neighborhood. Caracas, October 10, 2019.
  • Still waiting for someone to come save us. As one woman holds a U.S. flag on her balcony, her neighbor below hung the colors for Venezuela. Both are looking down on a massive protest against Pres. Nicolas Maduro in the streets below. Caracas, Venezuela on Febuary 11, 2019.
  • People wait in line at dawn, to enter a street market during a COVID-19 lockdown in the city of Caracas on August 28 2020.
  • A man walks by a mural of deceased president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, during a Covid-19 lockdown in Caracas, Venezuela on July 15, 2020.
  • A house is covered with old posters of deceased president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, in a settlement where 45 families live side by side with no access to drinking water and extreme sanitary conditions. Caracas, Venezuela, September 14 2020.
  • A man plucks a chicken for his client in a street market during a COVID-19 lockdown in Caracas, Venezuela on June 20, 2020.
  • Yugeidys and her 8 children sleep in a crowded space they built themselves. Known as a settlement, more than 30 families live here side by side. They have no access to drinking water. Sanitary conditions are abysmal. They all suffer respiratory ailments but have no access to medicines. Caracas, Venezuela, June 30, 2020.
  • People fill plastic containers with water from a tank truck due to the lack of running water. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Venezuelans face a lack of public services, including running water. Caracas, Venezuela, September 13, 2020.
  • Always watching over us. Pedestrians make their way past the staircase of "El Calvario" (Calvary) and the haunting mosaic of deceased President Hugo Chavez' eyes. Caracas, Venezuela on July 1, 2020.
  • They go forth at dawn. A street market offers people a chance to not only shop for bargains, but to sell produce to earn money to feed their families. Fears of COVID-19 compete with the constant anxiety over their economic plight. Caracas, Venezuela on August 28 2020.
  • Men carry a coffin in the middle of a street in the neighborhood of "Ruiz Pineda." in Caracas, Venezuela.
  • A statue of Jesus is seen with a face mask amid the COVID-19 outbreak, in Caracas on August 08 2020.

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