Cali, Colombia (1978)

Erika Diettes’ visual practice has been informed by her study of the human as being, by history and by contemporary culture. Primarily interested in notions of loss, memory and the impact of violence, her work challenges both our normative beliefs and the precepts of contemporary artistic expression.

A graduate of Bogotá’s Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, where she earned dual undergraduate degrees in Visual Arts and Communications, Diettes received an M.A. in Anthropology from the Universidad de los Andes. In 2010, she was named as one of the leading thinkers in Colombia.

We thank Pato Parodi for the photos! 

Erika Diettes


By the Force of the Bloodshed

07.08.2012 to 21.09.2012

Erika Diettes‘ recent bodies of work, A Punta de sangre and Sudarios, will be featured at the 17th edition of the Encuentros Abiertos, Festival de la Luz 2012, which opens August 1st at Santa Catalina de Siena Monastry  and August 7th at Fundación´ace.


Erika Diettes’ A punta de sangre/By the Force of Bloodshed builds on her previous series, Drifting Away/Río abajo, in which she photographed clothing owned by the Disappeared—the more than 50,000 victims of Colombia’s decades-long conflict—submerged in water and printed the images on glass.

Through her research, Diettes gained access to hundreds of documents, notes, and victims’ narratives, and the earlier series served to raise the artist’s awareness.

“I noticed that there were vultures in many of the areas that victims were found, and these scavengers are a symbol of death.” But she adds that, by their presence, these birds also offered hope for those searching for the remains of their loved ones.

In her statement the artist writes, “How do you continue living after seeing so much pain? How can you believe in humanity, and restore your faith in life after watching such horror?” But the survivors’ real punishment, Diettes adds, is that they are left alive to tell a story that no one will hear.


Held biannually in museums, cultural centers and art venues throughout Argentina, the Festival de la Luz presents exhibitions by national and international artists working in the medium of photography.

The event also serves as an international meeting place for photographers, curators, critics, collectors and directors interested in the role of the photographic image as a means of artistic, cultural and social relevance.

Argentina’s Festival de la Luz is a part of a collaboration of 27 festivals on five continents, in Aleppo, Atlanta, Ballarat, Bamako, Braga, Brasilia, Bratislava, Buenos Aires, Derby, Cracovia, Houston, Kaunas, Lodz, Luxemburgo I, Luxemburgo II, México, Montreal, Moscú, Odense, Paris, Portland, Porto Alegre, Tampere, Tenerife, Thessaloniki and Toronto.