about: Mexico projects

While on sabbatical in 2008, I had the incredible opportunity to accompany Peabody Award-winner, Kellogg Foundation Fellow, broadcast journalist Mary Stucky on various projects in Mexico. In conjunction with her work for the non-profit organization she founded, Round Earth Media, Stucky researched and produced many stories on Latin America. She invited me to meet her in Mexico to take photographs that would eventually become online slide shows to go with her radio stories.

The main projects included examining the extensive role of chocolate in Mexican cuisine, the extraordinary creations of a master Zapotec weaver Arnulfo Mendoza from the village of Teotitlán, and the economic impact of micro banking in the rural state of Oaxaca.

Guided by prominent women residents of Oaxaca, Teotitlán del Valle, and Miahuatlan, these photographic explorations intricately weave together mercado/ rural/ village/ urban scenes, indigenous art works, the artful presentation of food, the icons and practice of spirituality, and the arid mountain landscape.

In addition to these projects, we were honored by an invitation to the home of Mixtec native Anita Downs, widow of painter, filmmaker and University of Minnesota Studio Art Professor Allen Downs, and mother of famed singer/composer Lila Downs. Photographs of her uniquely designed house and her art collections are included in the composite photographs.

Links to photographs at Round Earth Media:

http://www.roundearthmedia.org/2009/01/chocolate-gift-of-the-gods

http://www.roundearthmedia.org/2008/05/oaxacas-weavers-keep-culture-thriving

Linda Brooks