Congratulations to Alejandra Aragon (Mexico) for being the 2022 Latin America Professional Award winner for the series I Came To La Pinta Because They Told Me My Father Lived Here. Second place is awarded to Jesús Arvizu (Mexico) and third place is given to Angela Ponce (Peru). All three winners receive Sony digital imaging equipment and exposure through a dedicated exhibition.
I Came To La Pinta Because They Told Me My Father Lived Here by Alejandra Aragón
The title of this project was inspired by the opening sentence in the emblematic Mexican novel Pedro Páramo. Like the protagonist in that story, I too began a journey between Mexico and the United States to find my biological father. In the process, I discovered how the wounds of my family are linked to the demands of hegemonic masculinity and the displacements of the agricultural towns from northern Mexico. I returned to the hometowns my family came from to find them being disputed by organised crime and the government’s neoliberal agenda. Both state and father figure broke their promises, and there is no motherland to return to from exile.
To define the visual language of this story I used images from the family photo album alongside ones I've taken during my travels with analogue film cameras. I avoided using a DSLR in order to both question the codes under which violence in Mexico is commonly portrayed and protect the intimacy of the story. The colours of the infrared film (an outdated military technology) reveals an invisible spectrum of light, creating a dystopian atmosphere. It’s complemented by the voices of family members and fragments of corridos, a storytelling genre in popular music.
For the Glory and the Pain. (Por la Gloria y el Dolor). by Jesús Arvizu
This series depicts the arduous drive and passion that exists in the world of wrestling, and is a testament to the wrestlers who endure great pain in their quest for glory. The series covers various matches of wrestling that took place in the state of Querétaro in Mexico in 2021.It’s an attempt to portray Mexico’s signature sport, the colours and culture of the wrestling ring and the professional dedication of the wrestlers. All the images were shot with an 18-55mm lens and a medium format camera.
Only will be Black Mountains by Angela Ponce
Peru is going through a mining boom, especially in the provinces of Puno, Ayacucho and Cusco in the Andes, where large mining companies are working to extract different types of metals such as copper and gold. However, this activity contributes to global warming and thereby to the melting of the Quelccaya Ice Cap. The first to be affected are the people of the rural communities near the mining camps who find it increasingly impossible to continue farming raising livestock and preserving their mountains. “With these waters we irrigate our corn and potato crops. When there is no snowfall, life will end,” says Exaltacion Chuquichampi (58), who as a child used to play in the snow of the Quelccaya mountain in the community of Sallany. “Now there is little snowfall, what are we going to do when the snowfall ends? There will only be a black mountain,” adds Yovana (29), daughter of Exaltacion.
Queens of 57th by Miguel Pérez
In Mexico less than 1% of cargo and passenger truck operators are women. Over the last decade, a group of women have appeared on the national transportation scene as truck operators – traileras – in a sector that has always been male-dominated.
Their lives seemed condemned to the domestic sphere. Not wanting to resign themselves to this life, the ‘Reinas de la 57’ (Queens of 57th) began to exercise their Independence and right to belong in this industry, learning the trade with the same professionalism and responsibility as anyone else. They entered the truck world on their own terms, applying their own experiences. They now seek to draw attention to their often ignored reality, in order to improve their working and safety conditions.
Reinas de la 57 is an ongoing project that documents the journey, struggles and daily life on the road of eight women who never set out to be extraordinary, but became so thanks to their character and passion for trucks.
Textures in Construction by Gisela Filc
Taking a close look at construction brings textures to the foreground: From the external, superficial appearance of the structure emerges a new pattern out of the array of details found in the frame, which often belong to contradicting universes.
Indefinite reliefs and geometries, monotonous grey and accents of color, profound silence and work in progress mingle in construction. These beauties are in constant transformation and movement. It’s ephemeral, and emerges unexpectedly in the building of dwellings. Each shot is (always) a unique scene, an instant.
Battles of Independence by Gonzalo Lauda
In this highly-staged series, I’ve recreated the highlights of Argentinian Independence history. It was a titanic task, mobilising the Argentine army in special locations with careful attention to movement, light and atmosphere for each shot.
The images have the characteristics of European paintings with historical accents: the romantic spirit and the power of glory. Separating my work from the purely historical narrative, I’ve highlighted the
effort, work and camaraderie of battle. We could hear the screams and gallops when executing the most dramatic shots and feel the quiet moments of calm in the vastness of the battlefield. The mountains, the Pampas and the horse are protagonists, like soldiers in combat.
URUK by Javier Perez
This work is part of a project where I use prints to create objects that I later photograph in my studio. I seek to create imaginary spaces that tell us something about urban clusters. Breaking all timelines, I play with the idea of ‘archaeological’ objects with a mind of their own. The initial images were shot digitally and printed with inkjet, and the final images were captured on 6x7in reversal film slides.
Claims by Raul Gonzalez
‘Claims’ are images of small, artificial reefs. It’s a series about the ambiguity of human intervention in the oceans, and the power of marine life over objects. Under the sea, all surfaces are susceptible to being colonised. From the moment of immersion, a rapid succession of organisms develops over any object. In a short time, the sea devours any offering – be it. the remains of a wreckage, industrial equipment or just plain garbage. Life will tenaciously hold on to any support it finds.
Rites, Cults and Faith by Juan Carlos Reyes García
Mexico is a society of great diversity and religious complexity. Ceremonial life is one of the most important characteristics of the traditional indigenous communities. It manifests itself in many aspects of people’s lives and comes with a set of beliefs, knowledge, traditions and customs. This portfolio is a brief sample of the documentation that I’ve made of the cultural diversity and spiritual rituals in my country. The selection compiles images of the Day of the Dead, the independent Catholic congregation of the Fidencista Church in Nuevo León, the cult of the Holy Death in the marginalised neighborhood of Tepito in Mexico City, and the ritual of mourning and duel of Holy Week at the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in the state of Oaxaca.
La Promesa by Irina Werning
Comprising eight per cent of the world’s population, Latin America has suffered around a third of recorded deaths from Covid-19. Its economies contracted by 7% last year, compared to 3.5% in the world as a whole. Much less discussed is that Latin America’s schools have stayed shut for longer than those in any other region.
Before the pandemic, education was already a problem in Latin America, plagued by deep structural inequalities that mirrored the wide income disparity in the region. The pandemic has made this situation worse. Latin American children have lost on average around four months more of class time than students elsewhere in the world.