2018 - Ongoing
Chihuahua, Mexico; Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States
The title of this project was inspired by the opening sentence of the emblematic Mexican novel Pedro Páramo. As the protagonist in that story, I 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 as well as the displacements of the agricultural towns from northern Mexico. I returned to the hometowns my family came from to find them disputed by organized crime and the government’s neoliberal agenda. Both state and father figures broke their promises, there is no motherland to return from exile.
To define the visual language of this story I gathered through my travels the family album and produced images with analog film cameras. Avoiding the use of the DSLR was a strategy to both question the codes under which violence in Mexico is commonly portrayed, and protect the intimacy of the story. The colors of the infrared film, outdated military technology that reveals an invisible spectrum of light, helped me create a dystopian atmosphere providing a metaphor to represent hidden structures. The materiality of the family archive reveals the wounds and invites to a dialog between the personal and the political. Both are complemented by the voices of family members and fragments of corridos, a storytelling genre in popular music. The project is in the process of becoming a photobook.