La Cornuda de Tlacotalpan - Memory is a Swamp - PhMuseum

La Cornuda de Tlacotalpan - Memory is a Swamp

Emilio Nasser

2016 - 2018

Veracruz, Mexico

Memory is a swamp, is the title of the experimental research on the legend of La Cornuda de Tlacotalpan. The main idea of the project was to reimagine the story in the face of its possible disappearance; involving the community and its memory to reinvent the legend through a collective, playful and participatory re-construction.

The story was born from the heart of the Papaloapan River in the small town of Tlacotalpan in Mexico.

Fishermen and residents of the riverside have reported that the Cornuda lives under the pier. Where are tunnels connect with the ocean.

Many villagers say that it has a kind of horn with which she holds the victims to the swampy bottom. Some mothers used this story to warn their children about the dangers lurking in the river.

Times have changed and this story has been disappearing. Almost nobody remembers her. When you don't believe in something, it ceases to exist?

When I heard about this legend, I did research based on drawings and video interviews in the village community. How did they imagine the Cornuda? Because in fact, nobody has ever seen her.

At the same time, I also began to draw as I imagined her and wondered how she could get back again before her story gets lost in the swamp of memory.

Along with the community drawings and mine, it was decided to make an extension of the legend, a second part. Where the Cornuda leaves the river to cross the threshold of the shore. With this action, she makes a metamorphosis, a transformation, from the liquid to the earth dimension.

The mask was born of this change and was built only with organic materials that I found on the banks of the river.

As life goes on in the town, only the photographic lens can see the magic of every day in the new life of the Cornuda.

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  • "La Cornuda de Tlacotalpan"

  • The project "Memory is a swamp" is a visual experimental researches based on a folk story.

  • The community was spontaneously involved.

  • The construction of the mask was made with organic elements coming from the margin of the river.

  • When I heard about this legend, I did a research based on drawings and video interviews in the village community.

  • How did they imagine the Cornuda?

  • Because in fact nobody has ever seen her.

  • In this serie I try to generate a new narrative between these universes of imagination.

  • The small town of Tlacotalpan in Mexico.

  • The legend of the Cornuda was born from the heart of the Papaloapan river.

  • Memory is a Swamp.

  • A short documentary film about "La Cornuda de Tlacotalpan".


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