Mention El Salvador and the most common image that comes to mind is the tattooed faces of Mara Salvatrucha and 18th Street gang bangers.
Christian Poveda was a hispanic-French documentary maker that spent two years documenting the lives of marginalised youth in San Salvador, the country’s capital. Just before its general release he was murdered. Pirated copies had made their way onto the streets and gang (maras in Spanish…) members were not happy.
The causality rate is shocking. More of his subjects get knocked off than in a season of Game of Thrones. It’s a sympathetic portrayal, with a keen eye to the social conditions, realities of unemployment and alienation. An interesting angle is the bakery ran by Homies Unidos, an interventionist organisation, albeit one surrounded by controversy and with strong roots in the gang culture.
With the weakening of the nation’s gang truce making online news agendas, this is definitely worth sticking on your goggle box.