August 6, 1998 - August 29, 1998
This series began with a need to understand the lands where my grandparents fell in love, where my great uncle, after much flying, crashed a small plane and where my father lived for a time fighting for his political ideals. The state of Guerrero is dominated by whites with Spanish ancestry and by a powerful Indian heritage. Because of this, other cultures have remained invisible. Blacks are the third element in the racial mixture of modern Mexico. I am very interested in documenting the present day customs and way of life of this minority on the verge of cultural extinction.
I started working in Guerrero and continued down to Oaxaca, to a region called the Costa Chica. During the course of my travels, I understand that if we continue to ignore even the smallest element of what has built Hispanic American culture, we have no chance of understanding the realities of our present society. During the three years of this project I have sincerely tried to understand the power of Black Mexican culture- of the women who find in an aggressive environment the wherewithal to build families with strong moral codes, and men who forcefully maintain their male virtues where violence and misery are the daily consequence of living together. The intimate coexistence of life and death brings us closer to a true understanding of the human soul.