Daniel Hernández Salazar


TECHNIQUE Analog photography. Inkjet permanent print on fiber base paper from 120 negative
YEAR 1996

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A few years ago, Daniel Hernández-Salazar, under the protection of that ritual moment concluding the long Guatemalan war with the signature of the peace accords, managed to capture some of the last images of armed guerrillas in the midst of their camps in the jungle, awaiting their demobilization. Between then and now, these images suffered a long process of metamorphosis which flows into this series. The title the author assigns to it has a double connotation: it’s a reference to an anniversary (of the signing of the peace accords), but, also the result of a creative process which invites us to cross, in the final product, the borders of ideological discourses to return to the more humane and consistent practice of artistic interpretation and reinvention.

Saint-Exupery once said civil wars are internal wars and that, somehow, a person always fights them against him or herself. In a country like Guatemala, that never learned to spell the word war and avoided it under all sorts of euphemisms and slogans, learn to pronounce the word peace necessarily passes through the struggle, individual and collective of recognizing the other’s gaze and admit that there is in it a part of yourself that does not extinguishes even if it is denied. And who obliterates us much as we try to suppress it.

Arbitrate that struggle summarizes the artist’s mission as constructor of the future

Extracts from the text by Ruben Najera of October 20, 1999.


Lives and works in Guatemala.

His interest on photography began during his childhood. Later it became a passion when he studied Architecture. During the 1980’s Guatemalan civil war, he worked as photojournalist for international agencies such as Agence France Presse, Reuters and the Associated Press. Hernández-Salazar presently works as an Independent Photographer, focusing his interests on portrait, nudes, architecture and historical memory—the last becoming his main topic of work and activism.

Daniel remains loyal to the practice of analogue photography and darkroom, which he has never abandoned. He is one of a few still practicing and teaching this technique. Although he masters digital equipment and techniques.

His work has been presented in more than 30 solo exhibitions and more than 40 group shows in North, Central and South America, Europe, Japan and Korea. For his artistic work in service of Human Rights he received in 1998 the Jonathan Mann Humanitas Award from the International Association of Physicians in Aids Care, and was named Knight and Officer of the Ordre Des Artes et des Lettres by the French Government in 2005 and 2017. Part of his oeuvre has been published in two personal anthologies by Kage Shobo, (Tokio, 2006) and University of Texas Press (Austin, 2007), and has been featured in a number of art, academic and news publications, including the New York Times LENS Blog, Harpers, 6Mois, among others.

Since November 2012, his work is included in the permanent collection of the Kazerne Dossin Holocaust and Human Rights Museum in Mechelen, Belgium. On September 2014 he was appointed curator and designer of his own photo exhibition Genocide Dismissed, Guatemala a Silenced Tragedypresented at that Museum until March 2015.

Currently he works in his project “se re(v)bela” which has been exhibited on 2016 in Guatemala City and in 2017 in Quetzaltenango.

Represented in Belgium by Verbeeck-Van Dyck Gallery in Antwerp.


- Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication, France. 2017, in recognition to his artistic creation work in service of Human rights.

- Chevallier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication, France. 2005, in recognition to his artistic creation work in service of Human Rights.

- Asuza-Sho Award to the book: “Guatemala Memory of an Angel: Work in progress of Daniel Hernández-Salazar. Japan, 2005.

- Jonathan Mann Humanitas Award. International Association of Physicians in Aid’s Care. Chicago 1998. Recognizing his inspirational work, which has helped shed light on more than 37,000 human Rights violation in Guatemala.

- Replica of the Nobel Peace Prize Medal given by Rigoberta Menchú, Nobel Peace Prize 1992. Recognizing his photo journalistic work.

- Third Prize, Emancipation and Identity of Latin America contest, Quito, Ecuador, 1992.

- First Prize, black & white photo, VI Art Biennial, Guatemala, 1990.

- First Prize, color photo, IV Art Biennial, Guatemala, 1986.


- Butterflies. Commemorating the 20th anniversary of Mons. Gerardi’s assassination. Proyecto Poporopo. Guatemala, 2018

- Queer Arts Festival opening exhibition. Antwerp, Belgium. 2017

- GENOCIDE DISMISSED, The silenced Tragedy of Guatemala. Kazerne Dossin Holocaust and Human rights Museum. Mechelen, Belgium. Sept. 2014-Mar.2015.

- Memento Vitae / Memento Mori. Verbeeck-Van Dyck Gallery Antwerp, Belgium. 2014.

- Revelation: The Power of Memory in the Land of Oblivion. Foto30 photo festival. Guatemala, 2012.

- Arbenz…fin del exilio /Apoteosis del retorno. Spanish Cultural Center. Antigua Guatemala, 2011.

- Guatemala: Guztiek jakin dezaten. Gernika Peace Museum. Gernika, Basque Country. 2010

- Affinche tutti lo sappiano. Castel Grande, Bellinzona. Switzerland. 2008.

- So that all shall know. UN Human rights Council. Salle des Pas Perdus. Palais des Nations. Geneva. Switzerland. 2007.

- Memory of an Angel. Session House, Tokyo, Japan. 2004

- Memory of an Angel. Sponsored by the French Embassy. Metropolitan Cultural Center. Guatemala 2003.

- Memory of an Angel. Chicago Film Festival. Havana Gallery, Chicago, Ill. USA. 2003

- The Path of an Angel. La Peña Gallery, Austin, Texas. USA. 2003

- 27-2002. PhotoEncuentro, Jade Museum. San José, Costa Rica. 2003.

- 27-2002. Month of the Photo, Modern Art Museum. Guatemala 2002.

- P.P. Month of the Photo. El Sitio Cultural Center, Antigua Guatemala, 2002.

- From fact to Memory. Casa de América, PhotoEspaña 2001. Madrid, 2001

- Inherentes Truths, Centro Cultural Recoleta, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2001.

- Threshold of Creation. Rafael Landívar University Art gallery, Guatemala, 2001.

- Memory of an Angel. Modern Art Museum, Guatemala, 2000.

- Beyond Weapons. El Attico Gallery, Guatemala, 1999.

- Musicians from Guatemala. University Gallery, U. of Massachusets. USA, 1999.

- Esclarecimiento. Centro de la Imagen, Fotoseptiembre. México, D.F. 1998.

- Faces of the Music. Nezahualcoyotl  Hall, Fotoseptiembre. México, D.F. 1998.

- Eros+Thánatos. Joan Grona Gallery, San Antonio Texas, U.S.A. 1998.

- Eros+Thánatos. National Exhibition Hall, San Salvador, El Salvador, 1998.

- Eros+Thánatos. Sol del Río Gallery, Guatemala, 1997.

- Daniel Hernández-Salazar: Recent Work. CAM Foundation, Alicante, Spain, 1996.

- Ecce Homo. El Sitio Gallery, Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala. 1995

- Visages de la Musique. Centre National de la Photo, Lectoure, France. 1994.

- Indigenous Leaders from the World. II World Indigenous Summit, Mexico, 1993.

- Faces of the Music. Sol del Rio Gallery, Guatemala, 1993.- Epiphany. El Attico Gallery, Guatemala, 1989.

- Silver on Gelatin. Guatemalan American Cultural Institute, Guatemala, 1987.

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