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Photographing MexicoGraciela Iturbide

November 6, 2015

From Mexico City, artist Graciela Iturbide discusses her personal and artistic relationship to politics and inequality in Mexico. “We have such wonderful traditions—such wonderful people,” says Iturbide, who was close to leftist parties in Mexico. “But, it’s very sad that there is so much social injustice.”

In contrast to her strong political views, she prefers to photograph people “independently of the injustice” to avoid sensationalizing their lives. Iturbide embeds herself within the communities when taking photographs throughout Mexico, attending events such as births and festivals. The artist is shown at the Frida Kahlo Museum in Mexico City where she produced a series of photographs taken in Kahlo’s bathroom.

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Producer: Ian Forster. Consulting Producer: Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich. Interview: Susan Sollins. Camera: Joel Shapiro. Sound: Mauricio Rodríguez. Editor: Morgan Riles. Artwork Courtesy: Graciela Iturbide. Archival Photography Courtesy: Pedro Meyer. Special Thanks: Museo Frida Kahlo. Theme Music: Peter Foley.

Art21 Exclusive is supported, in part, by the 21c Museum Hotel and by individual contributors.

Closed captionsAvailable in English, German, Romanian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Italian

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Graciela Iturbide

Graciela Iturbide’s interest lies in what her eyes see and what her heart feels—what moves her and touches her. Although she has produced studies of landscapes and culture in India, Italy, and the Unites States, her principal concern has been the exploration and investigation of Mexico—her own cultural environment—through black-and-white photographs of landscapes and their inhabitants, abstract compositions, and self-portraits. Her images of Mexico’s indigenous people—the Zapotec, Mixtec, and Seri—are poignant studies of lives within the bounds of traditional ways of life, now confronted by the contemporary world.

“We have such wonderful traditions—such wonderful people. But, it’s very sad that there is so much social injustice.”

Graciela Iturbide

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