Marco Baroncini‘s photographs of a Guatemalan prison, Persons No More, are close and disorientating*.

Baroncini explains,

“Sololà, little town on the west side of Guatemala, not far from Atitlan Lake, is not a proper prison; It is an anomalous preventive detention cell: many prisoners, in fact, will never be transferred to a bigger and more equipped jail, but they will remain in the same cell to undergo all the terms of punishment.

“Those condemned for murder may remain for 50 years. The murderer, the drugdealer, the little robber are all crowded together in the same cell of 70 square meters. There is no difference between the crimes committed: they are heaped up together sharing the same situation which doesn’t give any chance to get better or improve.

They live as they were rats behind the bars, with an only one toilet and shower for all of them, which don’t work properly either, with broken drain pipes. Living in these conditions, it is very easy to became infected, especially on summer time thanks to shoddy food they eat too.

“Beds are not enough for all of them: they often sleep in two or more in the same bed, or some others put the beds together to sleep in four or five, or on the floor. There is not space enough for all of them, inside and in outside the prison, even a tiny space to spend their air time to which everyone should be entitled.

It is difficult to speak about human rights with regard to Solalà. It is the example of total negation of every sort of right. This inhuman situation of living drove some of the prisoners to write a letter addressed to “Cooperaitalia” “Human Rights” and “Derechos Humanos” reporting the cruel condition of life they are obliged to live in.”

[My bolding]

Baroncini is based in Rome and boasts an impressive portfolio.

*American-English uses disorienting, English-English uses disorientating. How we differ.