“I don’t use light, I don’t use flash. I don’t use a tripod. It’s just me with my camera.”
November is the National American and Indigenous People Month and I want to highlight the artist and a photographer who spent most of her life portraying indigenous communities.
A fantastic Mexican photographer Graciela Iturbide makes photos to see and understand her own country. It’s indigenous culture, diversity, as well as its inequalities. She is known for her black-and-white images of local indigenous communities across Mexico: the Seri in Sonora, the Zapotecs from Juchitán and the Mixteca in Oaxaca. These communities are very often not only poor and isolated, but also overlooked in popular media and culture. Graciela Iturbide makes it visible for the whole world. Her works are in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and The Museum of Modern Art in New York, among others. She is not just a witness to her subjects’ lives but an active participant, living in Mexico City, travelling across the whole country, attending festivals and joining people when they go to market, do everyday work and take rest.
Graciela Iturbide always says that her real inspiration comes from what her eyes see now and what her heart feels now. Indigenous Mexican culture is what really moves her and touches her. Focusing mostly on women and children, and their relationships, intimacy, and connections Iturbide has captured the cultural traditions of generations of indigenous people.