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Agence VU - Miquel Dewever-Plana
Miquel Dewever-Plana

Catalan by birth, Miquel Dewever-Plana chose to devote his life to the fight for indigenous rights after studying photojournalism in Paris.
Travelling through Mexico and Guatemala between 1995 and 2000, he committed his time to studying the thirty Mayan peoples. The 170 colour photographs in his first book, “Mayas” (CLD Editions) are a precious testimony of an ancient lifestyle undergoing change. For more than two years, the photographer met with survivors of the Maya genocide in Guatemala where more than 200,000 people were massacred by the army during the Cold War, and 45,000 disappeared. He also met with members of Truth Commissions. All the portraits created, as well as testimonies collected about this dark chapter were collected in a book, “ La vĂ©ritĂ© sous la terre: le gĂ©nocide silencieux” (Underground truth: The Silent Genocide). His images are witnesses to an important historical work.

Miquel Dewever Plana received the Journalism and Human Rights Prize in 2008 from the International Festival of Photojournalism in the City of Gijon (Spain) for "Underground truth : the silent genocide ," his work in Guatemala.

In 2012, with the French journalist Isabelle Fougere, he directed the web-documentary "Alma, A Tale of Violence", produced by Arte, Upian and Agence VU : alma.arte.tv


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Portfolio

Stories

Guatemala, trial of a genocide (2013)

Former Guatemalan dictator - Efrain Rios Montt - sentence to 80 years in prison, has been cancelled by the Constitutional Court after a procedural error. Accused for war crimes and genocide, he has to answer for the murder of 1 770 Ixil Mayans under his regime between 1982 and 1983. Acting in collusion with the army and the former general JosĂ© Rodriguez - who is also in the defendant box – prosecutors said Efrain Rios Montt wanted to wipe out the indigenous group, which he suspected of supporting rebel fighters. An estimated 200.000 people were killed or went missing during Guatemala's 36-year civil conflict, which ended in 1996. Gen Rios Montt will also face charges over the...

Webdocumentary: Alma A Tale of Violence (2012)

A Web documentary of Miquel Dewever-Plana and Isabelle FougĂšre Alma is a young woman who has been, for 5 years, a member of one of Guatemala's most violent street-gang. 5 years during which she has killed, extorted, beaten and terrorized countless innocents. Then, when she tried to leave the gang, her former companions rather tried to kill her instead of allowing her to turn her life around. A former criminal, a survivor, a victim of her social background, a woman in search of redemption: Alma is all of that. Today, in a subtly interactive "eye to eye" confession, she tells everything about the unmeasurable violence ravaging her country.

Hach Winik (Mexico) (2009)

Since 1999, Miquel Dewever-Plana photographs his own child’s dream : Lacandons Indians, Hach Winick or « real men » who live in the Chiapas forest, south of Mexico. In the Naha village, he is the witness of change suffered by this microcosm under the pressure of lackland peasants, farmer settlers, tourists and Christian evangelists.

Rigoberta Menchu electoral campaign, Guatemala (2007)

Rigoberta Menchu’ Tum, is a woman, and an Indian one (Maya). In Guatemala, a racist and male chauvinist country, those are two major facts. In 1981, when she was 22 years old, and refugee in Mexico, she told her story and her people’s one in a book “Me, Rigoberta Menchu’”. For the first time, a testimony was relating the genocide lived by the Maya population in Guatemala. Eleven years later, in 1992, when western world was celebrating the 500-year anniversary of the “discovery of America”, she received the Peace Nobel Prize. Then, she became the voice of the ones who have no voice, and has never stopped to fight in the entire world for the respect of native population.

Guatemala, the silent genocide (II) (2007)

Guatemala is the Latin American country with the highest number of « forced disappearances » : 45000 people are said to be missing, including a majority of Indians. Most of these disappearances happened at the beginning of the 80 ‘s, at the time of the dictatorship of General Lucas Garcia and General Efrain Rios Montt, but still today, the reality of this aspect of the war is often being questioned. Trials are rare in this country where impunity reigns. After more of 20 years of suffering and misunderstanding, the exhumations allowed the families to go into mourning. Apart from the association members and anthropologists, we mainly met the families and collected their testimonies...

Guatemala, the silent genocide (I) (2006)

The Maya people of Guatemala lived a new tragedy in the last decades of the twentieth century: during the cold war, Guatemalan army did the burn earth strategy, eliminating, this way, entire Indian communities. More than 200 000 people were slaughtered, 45 000 people were missing, and 430 Mayas communities were wiped off the map. That was, indisputably, the most tragic conflict of Latin America, and also the most ignored. Peace treaties signed by guerrilla and Guatemalan government December 29th 1996, and the two commissions on truth were the starting point of a long process: finding victims, localising common and mass graves, exhuming corpses, trying and identification, and finally giving...

Guatemala (2001-2003), Rebels memory (2003)

Peace, where is your victory ? « As they wanted the death, the death for all of us, we rose up in arms and we survived.” Carlos said he was 14; he looked as 10. His khaki sleeveless jacket, too big at the armholes, let see two sickly arms, betraying awkward gestures of a shy childhood. Yet, straight look and firm hand doesn’t shake when he grasped his AR-15, guerrilla’s gun, to adjust it on his shoulder. There was nothing provocative in his attitude, no act of bravado, just a little bit of sadness in the ghost of a smile the time of a picture. Little street urchin of Ixcan’s forests, Carlos paced up and down on path to deliver messages from a column to another. He didn’t...

Mayas (1991-2000), Guatemala (2000)

Five years of presence, passions, and patience on Maya’s earth. Miquel Dewever-Plana has chose to put a lot into the fight for the native peoples’ rights, and to put his photography’s passion on Mayas of Guatemala’s cause. He has shared the daily life of those people.

Books

Alma

TrĂšs jeune, Alma a rejoint l’un des gangs qui ensanglantent quotidiennement la capitale du Guatemala. Dans les rues du bidonville de son enfance, elle a Ă©pousĂ© le clan des plus forts, poussĂ©e par un Ă©lan vital qui lui soufflait que mieux valait infliger la violence que la subir. Alma a tuĂ©, participĂ© Ă  des viols et Ă  des extorsions. Elle a connu les passages Ă  tabac et la prison, est devenue femme au milieu d’un groupe de jeunes guerriers surarmĂ©s, tatouant son corps de signes indĂ©lĂ©biles et gommant sa fĂ©minitĂ©. Ses choix lui ont coĂ»tĂ© la perte d’un enfant et une tentative d’assassinat l’a laissĂ©e paraplĂ©gique quand elle a quittĂ© le gang. Aujourd’hui, elle se sait en sursis, mais tente de mener une vie paisible, avec un compagnon, un travail et des rĂȘves d’études.
Alma est nĂ© du travail photographique de Miquel Dewever-Plana sur la violence au Guatemala. En Ă©cho Ă  ses images, Isabelle FougĂšre donne Ă  entendre, dans un rĂ©cit polyphonique, la voix d’Alma et celles des tĂ©moins majeurs de sa vie. Son rĂ©cit mĂȘle rĂ©alisme et fiction pour souligner l’universalitĂ© du destin de la jeune femme confrontĂ©e Ă  l’extrĂȘme brutalitĂ© d’un monde en dĂ©composition.

Ce livre paraĂźtra en mĂȘme temps que la sortie d’un web-documentaire de Miquel Dewever-Plana et Isabelle FougĂšre, intitulĂ© Alma, une enfant de la violence, produit par Upian, Arte et l’agence VU’, qui traite de la violence au Guatemala.
Text by: Isabelle FougĂšre

Publisher: Le Bec en l'Air Ă©ditions (2012)
112 pages
Size: 13 x 20 cm  

L'autre Guerre

L’autre guerre, c’est celle, non dĂ©clarĂ©e, qui au Guatemala fait aujourd’hui autant de victimes que durant le conflit armĂ© des annĂ©es 1980. Ce pays de 14 millions d’habitants est devenu l’un des plus dangereux au monde, avec 18 assassinats en moyenne par jour dont 98 % classĂ©s sans suite.
Les jeunes des quartiers dĂ©favorisĂ©s rejoignent les maras, des gangs ultra-violents qui terrorisent la population. Corruption gĂ©nĂ©ralisĂ©e, narcotrafic, traite de personnes, trafic d’armes, alcoolisme, inceste... autant de flĂ©aux favorisĂ©s par la pauvretĂ©, le chĂŽmage et des familles dĂ©truites par la guerre et l’immigration.
C’est cette rĂ©alitĂ©, qui un jour pourrait devenir la nĂŽtre, que documente le photographe Miquel Dewever-Plana depuis plus de dix ans. Avec une certitude : c’est le manque d’éducation, la fragilitĂ© des structures sociales et l’impunitĂ© qui font le lit de la violence. Son travail photographique, qui ne peut laisser indiffĂ©rent, fait Ă©cho aux tĂ©moignages de tous les protagonistes de cette « autre guerre ».

TĂ©moignages recueillis et retranscrits par Miquel Dewever-Plana, traduits de l'espagnol (Guatemala) par Alba-Marina Escalon.

Postface d'Amnesty international.

Ce livre paraĂźtra en mĂȘme temps que la sortie d’un web-documentaire de Miquel Dewever-Plana et Isabelle FougĂšre, intitulĂ© Alma, une enfant de la violence, produit par Upian, Arte et l’agence VU’, qui traite de la violence au Guatemala.
Text by: Préface Jean-François Leroy

Publisher: Le Bec en l'Air Ă©ditions & Blume (2012)
304 pages
Size: 15 x 20 cm  

Hach Winik

Depuis 1999, Miquel Dewever-Plana phototgraphie son rĂȘve d'enfant: les Indiens Lacandons, ces Hach Winik ou «vĂ©ritables hommes» qui vivent dans la forĂȘt du Chiapas, au sud du Mexique. Dans le village de Naha', il assiste peu Ă  peu aux changements subis par ce microcosme sous la pression des paysans sans terre, des colons fermiers, des touristes et des Ă©vangĂ©lisateurs chrĂ©tiens.
Pour accompagner ce travail photographique, Le Pasteur Dowe à Tacaté, nouvelle que l'écrivain américain Paul Bowles (1910-1999) rédigea en 1946, raconte l'arrivée d'un pasteur américain dans un village lacandon pour une délicate mission d'évangélisation.
Text by: Paul Bowles, Miquel Dewever-Plana

Publisher: Le bec en l'air (2009)
144 pages
Size: 17,5 x 22,5 cm  

La vérité sous la terre : le génocide silencieux

Le peuple maya du Guatemala a vécu une nouvelle tragédie dans les derniÚres décennies du XXe siÚcle : en pleine Guerre froide, l'armée guatémaltÚque a appliqué la stratégie de la terre brûlée, éliminant ainsi des communautés entiÚres d'Indiens. Plus de 200 000 personnes ont été massacrées, 45 000 portées disparues et 430 communautés mayas ont été rayées de la carte. Ce fut sans conteste le conflit le plus tragique d'Amérique latine, mais aussi le plus ignoré. Les accords de paix signés entre la guérilla et le gouvernement guatémaltÚque le 29 décembre 1996 et les deux commissions de vérité ont permis le démarrage d'un long processus : retrouver les victimes, localiser les fosses communes et les charniers, exhumer les cadavres, tenter une identification et rendre enfin les corps et les "disparus" à leur famille. Durant plus de deux ans, le photographe Miquel Dewever-Plana a suivi ces experts et rencontré les survivants. Il a pu ainsi réaliser une série de portraits saisissants et d'émouvantes scÚnes d'exhumation. Les photographies sont accompagnées de témoignages sur ces années terribles et de "lettres" adressées par les vivants aux morts enfin retrouvés. Ce livre rend compte du sort réservé aux Indiens sur tous les territoires prospÚres du continent latino-américain, victimes de la convoitise des grands propriétaires terriens guidant les bras des militaires, ou de celle de puissances étrangÚres. Ces photographies et ces témoignages sont aussi un signe d'espoir pour les Mayas qui par leurs témoignages ont aidé les anthropologues légistes à mettre à jour la vérité, celle cachée sous la terre depuis un quart de siÚcle.

Publisher: ParenthĂšse (2006)
168 pages
ISBN :2863641700   

Mayas

AprĂšs cinq annĂ©es de vie et de travail au sein de diverses communautĂ©s Mayas, Miquel Dewever-Plana nous livre les instantanĂ©s d'une culture vivante, saisie dans la rĂ©alitĂ© de modes de vie en pleine mutation. Cette prĂ©cieuse intimitĂ© lui a permis de franchir le seuil des foyers pour percer les secrets d'un quotidien oĂč les Mayas acceptent de se livrer, simplement, tels qu'en eux-mĂȘmes.
Text by: Anne CazalĂšs, Alain Breton

Publisher: CLD Editions (2002)
251 pages
ISBN :2854434048   

Awards


    2013 - Shortlisted for the Anthropographia Awards for Human Rights, Still Photography category, with "The Other War"

    2012 - Joan Alsina Award (gived to a personality who fights for the Human Rights in Latin America)

    2012 - Prix DocLab Award for Digital Storytelling (International Documentary Festival Amsterdam) pour web-documentaire "Alma, une enfant de la violence"

    2010 - Getty Images Grants for Editorial Photography (Project Title: "The Other War")

    2008 - "Journalism and Human Rights Prize" of the International Festival of Photojournalism in the City of Gijon" ( Spain) for his work in Guatemala " Underground truth : the silent genocide"

Exhibitions



The Other War (Vernouillet)
From 2014-05-20 to 2014-06-15

Vernouillet presents \"The Other War\" a Miquel Dewever-Plana exhibition. The “Other war” is the unofficial conflict which, in today’s Guatemala, has caused as many victims as the armed conflict of the 80’s. This 90 millions inhabitants country has become one of the most dangerous in the world, with an average of 18 murders per day, out of which 98% still remain classified as closed files. In Guatemala, the youngsters from the deprived areas join the “Maras”, these extremely violent gangs that terrorize the local population. General corruption, drug trafficking, human...

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The Other War (Cayenne - Guyane)
From 2013-07-25 to 2013-08-15

The « Other war » is the unofficial conflict which, in today’s Guatemala, has caused as many victims as the armed conflict of the 80’s. This 90 millions inhabitants country has become one of the most dangerous in the world, with an average of 18 murders per day, out of which 98% still remain classified as closed files. In Guatemala, the youngsters from the deprived areas join the “Maras”, these extremely violent gangs that terrorize the local population. General corruption, drug trafficking, human trafficking, weapons trafficking, alcoholism, incest
 So many scourges encouraged...

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Hach Winik (Le Bourget)
From 2013-03-25 to 2013-04-21

Starting in 1995, traveling to Mexico and Guatemala, Miquel devoted himself to the study of thirty components of the Mayan people. And since 1999, he photographed his childhood dream: the Lacandon Indians, the Hach Winik or "real men"who live in the forests of Chiapas, southern Mexico. In the village of Naha, is gradually seeing the changes undergone by this microcosm of tourists and Christian evangelists. Regular visits which have enabled them to link with a relationship of mutual trust.

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6 mois en 4 histoires (Paris)
From 2013-03-21 to 2013-04-13

La guerre intĂ©rieure du Guatemala Miquel Dewever Plana travaille depuis 1991 au Guatemala. Il en a documentĂ© les conflits armĂ©s, la guerre qui ne dit pas son nom entre les gangs, les prisons. RĂ©cemment acclamĂ© pour sa sĂ©rie sur Alma, une jeune « repentie » d’une des principales maras du pays, il explore, inlassablement, les mĂ©canismes de la violence, les inĂ©galitĂ©s sociales, les engrenages qui conduisent au sacrifice de toute une jeunesse. Son travail fait l’effet d’un coup de poing. Exposition collective Photographies de Miquel Dewever-Plana, Janet Jarman, Stephanie...

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The Other War (Paris)
From 2012-11-29 to 2013-01-31

The « Other war » is the unofficial conflict which, in today’s Guatemala, has caused as many victims as the armed conflict of the 80’s. This 90 millions inhabitants country has become one of the most dangerous in the world, with an average of 18 murders per day, out of which 98% still remain classified as closed files.rrIn Guatemala, the youngsters from the deprived areas join the “Maras”, these extremely violent gangs that terrorize the local population. General corruption, drug trafficking, human trafficking, weapons trafficking, alcoholism, incest
 So many scourges encouraged...

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The Other War ()
From 2012-10-16 to 2012-12-30

The « Other war » is the unofficial conflict which, in today’s Guatemala, has caused as many victims as the armed conflict of the 80’s. This 90 millions inhabitants country has become one of the most dangerous in the world, with an average of 18 murders per day, out of which 98% still remain classified as closed files.\r\rIn Guatemala, the youngsters from the deprived areas join the “Maras”, these extremely violent gangs that terrorize the local population. General corruption, drug trafficking, human trafficking, weapons trafficking, alcoholism, incest
 So many scourges encouraged...

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Festival L'Oeil en Seyne - L'Amérique du Sud (La Seyne-sur-mer)
From 2012-09-29 to 2012-11-04

The work "Hach Winik, the people of Lacandon" Dewever-Plana Miquel is exposed in the 9th Festival "L'Oeil en Seyne".\r\rStarting in 1995, traveling to Mexico and Guatemala, Miquel devoted himself to the study of thirty components of the Mayan people. And since 1999, he photographed his childhood dream: the Lacandon Indians, the Hach Winik or "real men"who live in the forests of Chiapas, southern Mexico. In the village of Naha, is gradually seeing the changes undergone by this microcosm of tourists and Christian evangelists. Regular visits which have enabled them to link with a relationship of...

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Hach Winik, the Lacondon (La Gacilly)
From 2011-06-03 to 2011-09-30

The work "Hach Winik, the people of Lacandon" Dewever-Plana Miquel is exposed in the 8th Festival of the Photograph Gacilly.\r\rStarting in 1995, traveling to Mexico and Guatemala, Miquel devoted himself to the study of thirty components of the Mayan people. And since 1999, he photographed his childhood dream: the Lacandon Indians, the Hach Winik or "real men"who live in the forests of Chiapas, southern Mexico. In the village of Naha, is gradually seeing the changes undergone by this microcosm of tourists and Christian evangelists. Regular visits which have enabled them to link with a...

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Guatemala, the Other War (Perpignan)
From 2009-08-29 to 2009-09-13

6 292. That is the number of people murdered in Guatemala in 2008. Thirteen years after the peace accords putting an end to the genocide of Maya communities, this tiny country with a population of only 13 million is now one of the most violent in the world. More than 98% of murders are never investigated, let alone brought to trial. This violence is no random occurrence, but has emerged as more and more social problems have developed, and successive governments, more interested in defending their own interests, have failed to find any adequate response. Mara gangs, made up of youths with no...

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Peuples autochtones des Amériques (Lyon)
From 2009-05-14 to 2009-08-30

Since 1999, Miquel Dewever Plana has often stayed with the Mayas Hach Winik (true men) in Mexico, and was thus able to bond with them and establish a connection of mutual trust. His photographs show a millenary way of life as it is changing.More an invitation to travel than a scientifical or ethnological work, his photographs throw us into the world of people with strong traditions but weakened by globalisation effects.

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