Tag Archives: Mexico City

Tearsheet of The Day | Narciso Contreras from Aleppo in Time

Most of the world’s media attention has been on Gaza for the week or so, but the fighting in Syria hasn’t been any quieter. Just yesterday we saw news reports of airstrikes by Syrian government damaging a hospital in Aleppo which killed 15 people and left as many as 40 missing.

Time magazine (Int’l ed.) ran an article about the Syria’s largest city in their last weekend’s issue. Opens with a striking photo by Narciso Contreras who has been filing photos from Aleppo for the Associated Press and Polaris.

pp. SEO Experts search engine marketing . 26-27. Time (Int’l ed.). November 26, 2012 issue.
Photo Narciso Contreras
Text on the spread: Cat and Mouse. Both regime and rebels have snipers at the ready. Rebel fighters are reflected in a mirror as they watch for enemies

Narciso Contrerasis a photojournalist born in Mexico City, whose work focuses on ‘feature stories, reportage and documentary based on religious communities, human nature and conflicts.’

Latin America Week: Adriana Zehbrauskas

This week, Argentinian photographer Eleonora Ronconi is taking over as guest curator, featuring work created by Latin American photographers…

Esta es la cuarta edición de la semana, y me da mucho placer presentarles a Adriana Zehbrauskas, fotógrafa brasileña que reside en el DF hace varios años.

Adriana is a photojournalist with an amazing eye. Her work caught my attention while I was looking for images on Faith, and these images had everything I had in mind: great compositions, grittiness and a lot of heart.  I am sharing her series Faith in Brazil and Mexico. 

Adriana was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil. She received a degree in Journalism and moved to Paris where she studied Linguistics and Phonetics at the Sorbonne Nouvelle. She worked as a staff photographer for  Folha de Sao Paulo for 11 years and is currently based in Mexico City, where she contributes regularly with the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Le Figaro and The Guardian, among others.

The series Faith in Brazil and Mexico was awarded an Art & Worship World Prize by the Niavaran Artistic Creation Foundation and a book is currently under production to be published by Bei Editores in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Image from Faith in Brazil and Mexico
What does your Latin heritage bring to your work?

I
think that in my specific case (not even sure if it is due to my
Latin heritage) it is an obsession with organizing the chaos in my
frame. I was born and raised in São Paulo and have lived the past
eight years in Mexico City, two huge metropolis where the visual
stimulation was always too much, there was always too much going on
at the same time ( São Paulo has now banned all outdoors including
even those hideous gigantic Mac Donald’s Ms). I felt this need to
clean my view, to calculate exactly what I wanted in my frame.

On
another level, Latin America is very religious and that permeates
every level of society in an everyday basis. The reference for the
sacred is constant and really difficult not to notice. I was always
very curious about this subject and I think I always find a way to
portray this angle into my stories.

Do you see a difference between work created in Latin America and
work created in the States?

It
is not a general rule, and I cannot speak for the whole Latin
America, but I see more long-term documentary projects coming out of
the US ( or US photographers) than out of Brazil, for instance.

What is the state of
photography in your country–is it well supported, are galleries
selling, do photographers have an outlet to show their work? 

I
don’t think it’s well supported, either in Brazil or Mexico.
It’s the effort of a handful of people who actually make it
happen. Outlets for showing work are dwindling by the day, newspapers
and magazines have less and less money /space so we have to get
creative now. The internet is a vast space, but we have to still
figure out the best way to use it. It’s just not a matter of
showing the work. Photographers are like any other people in the
world, we have to make money to survive!



Images from Faith in Brazil and Mexico 
 This
project was born from my inquisitiveness and deep curiosity about
religion. Living in Brazil, a country of immense cultural and
socioeconomic diversity and an extreme fertile ground for a plethora
of popular and religious manifestations, it was impossible to grow up
ignoring their intensity and strength.
Have
faith and you will go far”, “faith moves mountains”, and “one
must have faith” are expressions that permeate the day-to-day lives
of people from all social classes and religious beliefs.
With
their millenary experience, the major religions constitute powerful
intellectual structures capable of providing each individual with a
philosophy of life. They attend to the spiritual aspirations of the
human being and to the need to believe in noble values. They provide
answers to the individual’s anxieties when confronted with fear,
suffering and death. They assert that which is true, good and just,
helping each person interpret the world.
The
spiritual search is natural to every human being. It represents the
search for the meaning of life, humanity and coexistence. Religion is
unique to humankind. The cornerstone of any religion is faith. 
This
is a sample of a large photographic essay on  faith in Brazil
and Mexico, focusing on the similarities and differences of that
which is perhaps the only common denominator of all religion.

Tema Stauffer, Car Skeletons

Tema Stauffer, Car Skeletons

Tema Stauffer

Car Skeletons,
Highway163, Arizona , 2008
Website – TemaStauffer.com

Tema Stauffer is a photographer and writer and a curator for Culturehall. She graduated from Oberlin College in 1995 and received a MFA in Photography from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1998. Her work has been exhibited at Jen Bekman Gallery and Daniel Cooney Fine Art Gallery in New York, as well as galleries and institutions nationally and internationally. She currently teaches at the School of the International Center of Photography, Ramapo College, and the College of Staten Island and co-taught a photography workshop at Toxico Cultura in Mexico City. She also writes a blog about photography, PalmAire, and contributes to other arts publications. In 2010, she was awarded an AOL 25 for 25 Grant for innovation in the arts. She lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

A Young Olympian: Diver Carolina Mendoza’s Path to London

Although she is one of the youngest athletes set to compete in this summer’s Olympic games, 15-year-old Carolina Mendoza displays a maturity beyond her years through her training. In early June, TIME commissioned photographer Tomas Munita to photograph Mendoza as she prepared to represent Mexico in the 10-m platform dive in London—one of the only remaining Olympic sports permitting teenage competitors as young as 14.

(For daily coverage of the 2012 Games, visit TIME’s Olympics blog)

Munita, who photographed Mendoza at the National High-Performance Center (CNAR) in Mexico City, was drawn to his subject’s balanced approach to her training. At an age where many kids face distractions from friends, family and school, Mendoza has found a rare balance in the frenzy of her life.

“Her happiness and professionalism completely explains her success,” he said. “She is not just tough practicing over and over again, but she also loves what she does as a challenge and a game—not just as pure competition.”

Mendoza seems perfectly suited for the rigors of the Olympics. Learning to walk at 9 months old and swimming by age 2, she was encouraged athletically by her parents: her mother, a Mexican national track-and-field champion and her father, an Olympic cyclist competing at the 1968 Mexico City Games.

At age 11, Mendoza discovered that her experience in both swimming and gymnastics found harmony in diving. And now, four years later, she is packing for the London Games.

Munita watched in awe as Mendoza dove again and again during practice.  “She works every detail systematically and patiently. In between each dive, she finds time to joke and laugh loudly with her partners,” he said. “Then, suddenly, she’s running up the ladders again.”

Read more about Carolina Mendoza on TIME.com.

Tomas Munita is a freelance photographer based in Santiago, Chile. He previously photographed Church and State: The Role of Religion in Cuba for TIME.


In the Factory of Dreams: Behind the Scenes on Telenovelas

A woman in a white shirt poses seductively on a plush bed. Across the hall, a handsome doctor stands tall, stethoscope hung loosely around his neck. No, this isn’t a scene from Fifty Shades of Gray. It’s the stage set of the hotbed of telenovela production at the Televisa Studios in Mexico City—and the subject of a new photography collection named after it: The Factory of Dreams by San Francisco native artist Stefan Ruiz.

Televisa, the largest Spanish-language broadcaster in the world, produces nearly 50,000 hours-worth of telenovelas each year and exports them to about 50 countries. These soap operas hold a central place in Latin culture, arguably far more than their mainstream American counterparts. Ruiz had rare access to photograph the stars and sets of Televisa’s telenovelas for the past eight years.

Ruiz says he saw actors, sets and lighting as a fresh lens to examine issues of race, class and beauty that he’d previously examined with traditional documentary portraiture. “I was interested in the various types [of actors], and in how the definitions of beauty and class are often defined by race,” he explained in the book. “Generally, the stars look European. The maids do not. And the villains vary.”

The sets also provided Ruiz an ideal space to explore the concept of fame. “It was interesting that many of the telenovela actors were huge stars in much of the world, but virtually unknown in the U.S. and northern Europe,” he said.

Ruiz’s collection captures the stars in the moments between their public and personal lives. He exposes the “seams between fiction and reality” as an essayist in his book put it. Yes, his audience may enjoy the brief telenovela vignettes that accompany the photos. But fans will almost certainly love Ruiz’s subtle glimpse into the private lives of their stars.

So what did Ruiz find most fascinating about his close proximity to these stars? For one, the Televisa system resembled old-time Hollywood. The soaps were filmed quickly and big-name actors were on set much of the time. “Once I had access from Televisa, the stars were generally pretty accessible and were almost always up to being photographed as long as time permitted,” he says. “There were no agents or publicists on set.” The actors themselves were actually fairly down-to-Earth. “For years the film industry in Mexico was almost dead, and this was the only steady acting work around,” Ruiz notes. “I got the feeling that they were appreciative of their jobs.”

Stefan Ruiz is a photographer and San Francisco native. More of his work can be seen here. The book Factory of Dreams will be published June, 2012, by Aperture.

Andrea Bruce Receives the Chris Hondros Fund Award

Nearly 14 months after photographer Chris Hondros died while covering the conflict in Libya, a foundation created to honor his legacy has awarded its first major grant to photographer Andrea Bruce, who, like Hondros, has covered conflict through much of her career. The $20,000 Getty Images and the Chris Hondros Fund Award was created to help photographers further their pursuits; a $5,000 runner-up award will be given to emerging photographer Dominic Bracco, based in Mexico City.

“Chris was always working with students and was very involved in mentoring within the photo world,” says Christina Piaia, board member of the Chris Hondros Fund and the late photographer’s fiancé. “We kept coming back to this idea that he was so impressed and humbled by his colleagues that it would be most fitting that some of these brave photographers and journalists be recognized with this award.”

Dominic Bracco II—Prime Collective

The scene of a murdered couple. The woman was far into her pregnancy. The couple’s heads touched in a last embrace, a single bullet entering the man’s skull and taking all three lives.

Unlike other awards that ask candidates to submit work, Piaia and three other judges (Pancho Bernasconi, Vice President for Getty Images US News and Sports Division, Jeff Swensen, freelance photographer and Todd Heisler, staff photographer for The New York Times) sought nominations from photo directors and other leaders within the industry. One of the main criteria was that the work bring attention to the human experience—a hallmark of Hondros’ career.

Piaia said she saw a direct parallel between Hondros and Bruce, who has documented last year’s Arab Spring, the Iraq war and female circumcision, among other topics. “She has tirelessly gone back to conflict zones with great risk to herself and great sacrifice to her personal life—and her drive has no end,” she said. “Her pictures are so powerful, yet she brings sensitivity to a picture in a way that even novice viewers can feel moved. Andrea is quite literally shaping the visual history of our world.”

The Chris Hondros Fund was created to support and advance the work of photojournalists and raises awareness of the issues facing those reporting from conflict areas. Follow their efforts on Twitter @hondrosfund

Adam Wiseman

Adam Wiseman has a cultural heritage and personal history that has caused him to live in many paces. He was born in Mexico City, has lived in Mexico, NYC, Scotland and Brazil. He has a BA from NYU in Ethnographic Film and completed the Documentary Program at the International Center of Photography in NY. After living in NYC for 13 years working as a freelance photographer and as fine printer for the Magnum photo agency, Adam returned to Mexico City a decade ago, where he teaches and works as an independent fine art and documentary photographer.

His photographs have been published in numerous magazines and his work has been exhibited in Switzerland, Spain, NY, Mexico, Japan, at the 2006 Venice Biennial as well as having a photograph from 9-11 in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. and in the 9/11 Memorial in NY.

Adam has taken that world-view curiosity and turned it to the city where he resides with his new series, d.f.p.m.  Traveling the city at night by bicycle, he finds pockets of energy, little side shows of labor, lust, and solitude. Adam will be exhibiting this project in “Area Conurbada” at the Museo Archivo de la Fotografia in Mexico City May 31 to August 15, 2012. He is currently working on a book of d.f.p.m..

d.f.p.m. This project documents the nocturnal esthetics of Mexico City; the Distrito Federal (Federal District), locally referred to as the D.F. a city divided.


For as long as I can remember violence and paranoia has dictated where and how we live, what parts of the city we can roam, where we can shop, enjoy a meal, work, play. It is not unusual to meet people who happen to know the same people you know. Most consider these encounters as nothing more than coincidence, however, it is more likely a result of people knowing one another within these comparatively tiny circles created by an economically divided society.


d.f.p.m is a collection of photographs shot while getting lost by bicycle at night. It began as a group of 3 or 4 friends riding their bikes at night to unknown parts of the city trying to get lost, finding somewhere to have a drink or two and moving on to another part of the city and having another drink. It was a way to break the mold, to take back our city and escape the monotony of our designated environment. Documenting these experiences I quickly became attracted to the nocturnal urban landscapes we were riding through, the empty lonely bars, sleepy waitresses awoken by clients who were not locals, trucks delivering vegetables in one of the worlds largest food markets which is never closed and is most active from 2 to 6am. Intricate altars to Saint Death on street corners, lonely men in strip joints, a couple hidden by the cover of night in the corner of an empty over-lit cantina. Most of the time it was more subtle landscapes which caught my eye, landscapes created by artificial light: headlights from a passing car momentarily bringing into view a neglected wall, street light spilling over a groomed tree or a patchwork of light emanating from the façade of an apartment building.
Wherever I go I am considered an outsider, as a Mexican with a Scottish mother and American father I am not considered Mexican nor Scottish nor American. A documentary photographer is always an outsider, as an outsider I become invisible, an entity which is undefined. Nobody has a preconceived notion of what is expected of me so instead of standing out, I am often ignored and left to take my portrait of my city. d.f.p.m is just that; a nocturnal portrait of my city.

Tema Stauffer, Tree

Tema Stauffer, Tree

Tema Stauffer

Tree,
Minneapolis, Minnesota, 2003
From the American Stills series
Website – TemaStauffer.com

Tema Stauffer is a photographer and writer based in Brooklyn and a curator for Culturehall. She graduated from Oberlin College in 1995 and received a MFA in Photography from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1998. Her work has been exhibited at Jen Bekman Gallery and Daniel Cooney Fine Art Gallery in New York, as well as galleries and institutions nationally and internationally. She currently teaches at the School of the International Center of Photography and Ramapo College, and co-taught a photography workshop at Toxico Cultura in Mexico City. She also writes a blog about photography, PalmAire, and contributes to the Mana Art Center’s Log. In 2010, she was awarded an AOL 25 for 25 Grant for innovation in the arts.