Constanza Portnoy, Argentina
Constanza Portnoy was born in Buenos Aires in the 1980s, years when Argentina lived through a terrible military dictatorship. Human rights, brutally violated during this dictatorship, are her theme and have determined her choice of profession. At the age of 23 she completed her psychology degree at the University of Buenos Aires with a distinction, then worked for many years with children and adults in institutions for the handicapped. She came to photography out of her own accord, travelled through Latin America, took her cue from socially committed photographers like Mary Ellen Mark and Darcy Padilla.
Many people can look at little Ángeles‘ life from a negative or prejudiced place because she was born to a family with physically disabled parents and everyday must overcome an unfavourable social and economic environment. As well as being invisible to the Social Services. However, immersing yourself in the world of this girl means discovering that the strength, the bonds of love and the perseverance of this family have made Ángeles a very special little girl, full of light, and a carrier of very deep wisdom about justice and respect for differences. The relationship she has forged with her parents is based mainly on a bond of great admiration, affection and cooperation that overcomes the labels of a diagnosis and the marginalization.
In a journal that is as wise as it is touching, about the work selected here, she describes the need to participate in the life of those you photograph before you press the releaser. To be patient instead of giving in to the instinct for capturing the most impressive image. And precisely because she is like she is, has Constanza Portnoy achieved images that made a big impression on the jury. (Text by Peter-Matthias Gaede)