Franco-Spanish photographer and filmmaker, Christian Poveda began his career as a journalist following the Polisario Front in Algeria. After, he covered as a photographer the invasion of the island of Grenada by the United States and the historical events that troubled Argentina and Chile.
His political involvement during the Vietnam War in the 1970s allowed him to discover the power of images and the influence they can have on certain events.
After living in San Salvador for a long time, he began working there as a photographer in the 1980s, and in 1982, with a journalist from Paris Match, he is the first photographer to penetrate the Salvadoran guerrillas. Until the 1990s, he covered San Salvador’s news on a day-to-day basis.
In 1991, he returned to France and directed his first documentary On ne tue pas que le temps about Act’Up activists. Thereafter, he decided to put aside photojournalism to devote himself entirely to documentary filmmaking.
His reports and films are devoted to extraordinary political and social situations. Christian Poveda’s filmography includes 16 documentaries that have been presented in the most prestigious festivals and TV markets. His latest work as a filmmaker is a feature-length documentary on gangs in San Salvador entitled La Vida Loca, presented at the 2008 San Sebastian International Film Festival. The images reflect 16 months of filming with the Maras and particularly the Mara 18, a gang of Salvadoran youths, lost children of the post-civil war era, born out of unbearable misery and the expulsions of migrants led by the United States.
Christian Poveda was murdered on September 2, 2009 in the suburbs of San Salvador on his way back from filming.
He knew the risks of his job and paid with his life for an exceptional investigation, without concession, without prejudice, in the heart of one of the most violent gangs in Latin America, the Mara 18.
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