My mother and I are the only members left of a big Italian family. She decided that throwing away all family slides was a big favour to me: "It happened already," she said, "and everybody is gone anyway…" I had the chance to recover only a box containing some slides, metallic cans and small pieces of paper describing the destinations of the family’s trips and other details. The wonderful individual slides I was able to see were made before I was born.

But there were others that had been carefully tied with elastic bands and papers, or they were inside closed metallic cans. I was more interested in these than in the ones I could see. How much I could or wanted to know of the past? Would the images tell all the truth? What is the role of photography in a family’s history? And what do I do with that “gift”?

I decided to let the tied up slides, the small metal cans and the pieces of paper speak to me not from the content of the images themselves but from the questions they were posing me. I never opened them. And I am still listening…

Historia, memoria y silencios (History, memory and silences) is a personal, intimate — and at the same time universal — work that invites us to reconsider the idea one has of the past as much as how it eventually affects our identity in the present. The work also reevaluates the power of the photographic medium on the construction of memory.

— Lorena Guillén Vaschetti

Historia, Memoria, Silencios
by Lorena Guillen Vaschetti
Publisher: Schilt Publishing
Hardcover: 84 pages