Magnum photographer Yael Martinez has been documenting fractured communities in his native Mexico, focusing on the consequences of the many missing persons on their families. Across Mexico, more than 37,400 people have been categorized as ‘missing’ by official sources. The vast majority of those are believed to be dead—victims of ongoing violence that has claimed more than 250,000 lives since 2006. These disappearances are the source of lasting psychological trauma for families left behind.

After six years of working with the families of missing people, Martinez has tried to explore a different perspective on the concept of resilience. “I started working with the concept of resilience and how we as human beings can transform a bad energy into a positive energy. A light in the darkness. That’s when Firefly came about,” he says.

Carla waits at home in the La Sabana neighborhood. Intervened photography. Acapulco, Guerrero. Mexico. 2020.

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