Our Culture Our Resistance
Photographs by Jonathan Moller

Repression, Refuge and Healing in Guatemala

A survivor of the Guatemalan Genocide carrying a framed photo

Our Culture Our Resistance is a photography exhibition open on Thursday, August 24, 2023 with works by Jonathan Moller about the genocide during the Guatemalan Civil War (1960-1966) that left 166,000 indigenous Mayans dead. Thousands more vanished. The images (photographed 1993 to 2001) portray communities in resistance, captured against the backdrop of Guatemala’s tumultuous past, each a window into a world of life, death, hope and despair during these trying times.   

August 24 – September 14, 2023
Open Mon. to Thur. 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.     
ARTISTS TALK Tue., September 5
2:00 – 3:30 p.m. at LAC, K-102

From 1993 to 2001, Jonathan Moller photographed victims and survivors of the Guatemalan Genocide. This period coincided with the aftermath of the Guatemalan Civil War (1960-1996), a chapter that inflicted an unfathomable toll of around 200,000 lives lost. Notably, within this staggering figure, 83% of the victims were indigenous Mayan civilians, their lives forever interwoven with the fabric of this somber history. An additional 40,000 individuals remain shrouded in mystery as “disappeared,” leaving their absence as a stark testament to the depths of this tragedy. Shockingly, the hands of government forces, bolstered by the backing of the United States, bear the weight of responsibility for an alarming 92% of the civilian executions.

Our Culture Is Our Resistance is a collection of portraits of Mayan communities in resistance, captured against the backdrop of Guatemala’s tumultuous past. Each photograph is a window into a world that witnessed both life and death, embodying the intricate tapestry of hope and despair woven during those trying times. 

Through “Our Culture Is Our Resistance” Moller cast light upon the harsh realities that enshrouded Guatemala during the tumultuous civil war. This collection is a manifestation of solidarity, a heartfelt gesture extended to the victims and survivors who have tenaciously pursued the elusive pursuit of truth and justice in Guatemala. 

A photograph by Jonathan Moller A group of victims and survivors of the Guatemalan Genocide

A survivor of the Guatemalan Genocide

About Jonathan Moller

Jonathan “Jonás” Moller is an award-winning documentary photographer and human rights activist. Since 1991 Moller has worked mostly in Central America (primarily Guatemala), as well as in Peru and Cuba. He is the author of two books on Guatemala, a book about Peru, a book about the diversity of young Cubans today, and his most recent book about Black Lives Matter in 2020.

Moller’s work is in numerous public and private collections, among others the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Buenos Aires, Museo de Arte de Lima, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Museo de Antioquia in Medellin, Colombia, Casa de Las Americas in Havana, and the George Eastman House.

He has been a member of Impact Visuals and Swanstock and his photographs have appeared in numerous magazines and periodicals, including the LIFE 2001 Album: The Year in Pictures, Photo District News, Photo Italia, DoubleTake, and the Cultural Survival Quarterly.

Moller’s photographs have been used by many NGOs in Latin America, the US and Europe for educational and advocacy purposes, from grassroots human rights and solidarity organizations in Central America and the U.S., to the Soros Foundation, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.


LBCC Art Gallery LAC K-100