Entry Title: "Holy Week in Guatemala"
Stan Raucher
, United States
Category: Non-Professional, Press

Entry Description:

The burden and beauty of belief weighs heavy on the shoulders of the faithful as they perform the age-old
traditions of Holy Week that were brought from Spain to Guatemala in the 17th Century. Throughout the week,
the brotherhoods of the churches in and around Antigua partake in solemn processions that commemorate the
last days of Jesus.

A thick veil of smoke from incense burners fills the air, and the mournful sounds of funeral dirges from brass
bands echo off ancient monastery walls, as the spectacular processions slowly wend their way through the
narrow cobblestone streets and over decorative carpets (alfumbras) of pine needles, flowers, fruit and colored
sawdust. Scores of men dressed in biblical garb carry elaborately carved antique wooden platforms (andas)
featuring sacred statues of Jesus, while hundreds more walk alongside awaiting their turn. The anda is never
set down, and as it sways back and forth while the procession slowly inches forward, it seems as though it
might topple over at any moment. In a similar fashion, andas with statues of the Virgin Mary are carried by
doleful women, dressed in black or white lace. Both the statues of Jesus and Mary, and the massive andas,
which may weigh thousands of pounds, are centuries old. The processions can last over twelve hours, and often
begin or end in the wee hours of the night.

No written description can adequately convey the spirituality that permeates the atmosphere during these
activities, but all those who witness the processions will certainly be touched. These photos, taken from Palm
Sunday through Easter Sunday in 2015, provide a glimpse into the profound passion of Holy Week in Guatemala.

Profile Link:  Profile link
About the Artist:

Stan Raucher was born and raised in Saint Paul, Minnesota, during the age of black and white television, Life magazine photo documentaries, and the publication of The Family of Man. These early influences are reflected in his photography. His black and white images reveal aspects of the human condition with candid images of ordinary people interacting with one another and their surroundings, and his approach to documentary projects is fashioned with compassion and empathy. Portfolios of his work have been published in LensWork #97, LensWork #117, Adore Noir, Slate, Lenscratch, Black & White Magazine, The Daily Mail, The Independent, Featureshoot, F-Stop Magazine, Camera Arts, and Datum Seiten der Zeit. His photographs have been shown in 20 solo exhibits and included in over 60 juried group shows. His prints are in the permanent collections at the Lishui Museum of Photography and the University of Washington Hall Health Center, and they are held by private collectors. They have also been exhibited at the Blue Sky Gallery in Portland, Oregon, in their viewing drawers in 2012, 2014 and 2015. His awards and honors include the Lucie Foundation E-pprentice Award in 2010, First Place in the 2010 NYPH Capture Brooklyn Exhibition, the 2011 Black & White Magazine Merit Award, the 2013 Black & White Magazine Excellence Award, and the 2013 Grand Prix de la Decouverte International Fine Art Photography Juror Award of Merit. He was a winner of the 2014 Havana Times Photo Contest. He also was a Critical Mass finalist in 2012 and 2013, and a 2014 PhotoWorld finalist. He was a 2012 CDS/Honickman First Book Prize finalist for his Metro series. Stan resides in Seattle, Washington, and he is currently working on several photography projects around the world. His complete resume may be viewed at: http://stanraucher.com/resume.pdf