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 The colours of the infrared film (an outdated military technology) reveals an invisible spectrum of light, creating a dystopian atmosphere.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.