Creating New Narratives on New Platforms: Raul Gasque Sansores on Photography in Latin America
By Sofia Tomacruz
Armed with nothing more than a series of photographs and a list of names, Mexican photojournalist Raul Gasque Sansores introduced the nuances and social layers of Latin American culture to a group of Filipino photojournalists.
In a talk titled “Creating new narratives on new platforms” organized by the Asian Center for Journalism, Sansores discussed new ways of storytelling and reflection employed by photographers in Mexico, Argentina, Venezuela, and Spain among others.
“This is really cool and so crazy because it’s not like the traditional images we see of these places with all the crime and violence,” he said.
The audience was composed of alumni of the Diplomas in photojournalism and multimedia of the ACFJ, teachers and students and other media practitioners.
Presenting photos of 16 Mexican and 7 Latin American photographers, the discussion ranged from maternity to class divisions, aging to poverty, and natural landscapes to gentrification.
“This one I see is kind of like the gap between the two Mexicos,” he said, referring to an image of a dusty dessert landscape where cracked earth separates to reveal a gaping darkness.
Shot by Mexican photographer Juan Carlos Coppel as a part of the series “La Grieta,” the photo touches on the divisions in Mexico, apart from the effects of agriculture and human activity.
Cultural norms and practices were also reviewed as local traditions captured in photos, such as those shot by Diego Moreno in his series “Guardianes de la memoria,” which focused on religious traditions that take place in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas.
Like others in the series, Coppel and other Mexican and Latin American photographers use metaphors and symbols to re-contextualize the experiences faced in contemporary Ibero-America, Sansores said.
Flashing more scenes of decrepit buildings, contaminated landscapes, and striking portraits throughout the afternoon, Sansores explained the motives and meanings behind each image: although different from more traditional images of photojournalism, the aesthetically experimental philosophical handling of photography presents a new way of creating non-violent resistance.
Sansores also reviewed several alternative new media platforms such as La Hydra, ERRR Magazine, Backroom Caracas, Falso Raccord, and VICE Mexico whose originality and novel take on events and culture reflect rapidly changing contemporary Ibero-American contexts.
Other photographs presented included work by Ana Casas Broda, Fernando Montiel Klint, Gerardo Montiel Klint, Koral Carballo, Adam Wiseman, José Manuel Espinola, Miguel Fernadez de Castro, Carlos León, Marcelo Prieto, Lizette Abraham, Nadia Baram, Arturo Soto, Guillermo Serrano, Mariela Sancari, Gema Polano, Luis Cobelo, Florencia Alvarado, Luján Agusti, Maria Portaluppi, Pétala Lopes, and the speaker himself.