Six Venezuelan boys stand in line on a beach

A Tender Glimpse Inside the Lives of Venezuelan Youth

words and photographs by Silvana Trevale


As her home country grapples with crisis, photographer Silvana Trevale turns her lens on the nation’s children, many of whom are caught in a state of flux between playful naivety and rigid stoicism.

Since 2017, I have returned to my home country of Venezuela every year to explore the lives of the youth and their daily struggles. During my travels outside Caracas, I met many families who I shared time with in order to gain a more intimate insight to their realities. This project came about in part due to the frustration and anger I have been feeling towards the current crisis in Venezuela—as well as the faint nostalgia towards the country that my parents once lived in; one that myself and the children living in Venezuela today have never had the chance to experience. 


What intrigues me most is the ways in which the children I spent time with are forced to shift from a state of playful naivety to a rigid stoicism in response to their lived realities. Not only are they faced with extreme food and medicine shortages that have caused the death of many around them, they are also met with a lack of opportunities, leaving little room for hope—except for the possibility of leaving the country.


With these images, I intended to capture an abstract state of calm that I imagine the young feel as they fluctuate between innocence and a seemingly inevitable premature maturation.

The back of a boy from Venezuela is shown at a beach.
A few Venezuelan youth are lying down on a surfboard in the middle of the ocean.
A Venezuelan adolescent is standing in their bathing suit in a tropical forest in Venezuela.
A Venezuelan girl rests her leg on a cement block while looking into the camera.
Several Venezuelan youth gather on top of a small cliff. One person is in mid-air, diving into the water.
A young man from Venezuela man stares in distance with a baseball mitt oh top of his head.
Tree branches are partially shown above a still body of water in Venezuela.
A small hole has pierced a glass window which shows a partially cloudy, blue sky in the background in Venezuela.
A young boy from Venezuela poses on his bike.
A man from Venezuela stands outside a building, opaque fog in his background.
A woman from Venezuela stands in front of other people shopping at farmers market.
A man from Venezuela stands on the side of a building.
A Venezuelan adolescent carries a young boy on his shoulders, standing on a bed of grass amidst tropical trees.
Two Venezuelan boys stand on a beach with their arms around each other.
A young man from Venezuela stands in front of an empty pool and construction.
A portrait of a young man from Venezuela wearing a beanie looking into the distance.
A Venezuelan girl stands on small dirt hole while holding a small Venezuelan boy in front of her. A lush green hill is in the background.
Two young Venezuelan boys stare into the camera.
A young man from Venezuela stands on the shore of a beach holding a tree branch.
Two Venezuelan youth embrace in a kiss.
A young woman from Venezuela wearing a hat stares into the camera.
A young man from Venezuela leans against a large boat on the beach. A small dog is sitting next to him and there are tropical trees in the background.
A young man from Venezuela stands on a road.
Several Venezuelan youth are sitting around a table counting money.
A young man from Venezuela is sitting down on a bench, looking into the camera.
A young man from Venezuela looks back at the camera.
The body of a brown horse stands in front of a cement wall with barbed wire on top in Venezuela.
A young man fromVenezuela whips his wet beach hair.
A hand with stretched out fingers has three lines of blood on it.
A Venezuelan girl stands on a skateboard in the middle of the street. There is lush greenery in the far distance behind her.
Two Venezuelan youth are playing on the beach. One is in the air mid-flip while the other one cheers on the side.

Keep Reading


60 Seconds on Earth,Anthropocene,Art & Culture,Climate Migration,Black Liberation,Changemakers,Democracy,Environmental Justice,Photography,Earth Sounds,Deep Ecology,Indigeneity,Queer Ecology,Ethical Fashion,Ocean Life,Climate Solutions,The Frontline,The Overview,Biodiversity,Future of Food,Identity & Community,Movement Building,Science & Nature,Well Being,