On 13 August 2012 Alejandro (1992) left his uncle's bar to have a cigarette and was never seen alive again. According to his autopsy, it was an act of suicide. There was no background, no disorder, no dysfunctional family, no relationship failure, no evident reasons. No one close to him knows why he did it.
Taboos and silence continue to surround the issue of suicide despite the fact that, according to the World Health Organisation, it is the most serious public health problem in Europe. Worldwide, nearly 800,000 people committed suicide every year, one person per 40 seconds, which is the second leading cause of death among 15-29 year olds. In 2021, Spain recorded 3,941 deaths by suicide, double the number of deaths in traffic accidents in the same year. The rise of the Covid19 pandemic has increased suicidal behaviour among young people and teenagers, and for every person who dies from suicide, people from their circle will be inevitably involved: family and friends, people who will be emotionally scarred forever.
One of the most common mistakes is to think that someone who is considering such an extreme solution is always hiding a depression or other mental illness. Suicide is the result of the lack of happiness that a person has experienced. This action is not chosen, but appears as a solution to a pain so intense that it exceeds the tools we have to cope with it.
This essay wants to talk about suicide in a close way, to show the void that these people leave in their lives, to transmit the grief of their families and friends, using photography to, with the respect and dignity that they all deserve, give visibility to a situation that is absolutely common in our society, talking about suicide is a way to prevent it.
Suicide is the death of hope.