Wednesday, May 23, 7pm – Non-Fiction
Echele Ganas – Do Your Best – Photographs on the village of Tonalapa (Mexico)
This collection of photographs from award winning photographer/filmmaker Laurence Salzmann focuses on the village of Tonalapa, situated in the northern region of the state of Puebla. The village is a microcosm of the many hundreds of villages that are located in Mexico’s Sierra Norte de Puebla, a region nearly 100 km long by 50 km wide, and extends into the state of Hidalgo from where thousands of Mexicans have made their way in recent years to the United States in search of work. While the older villagers focus on their lives and the history of their culture, younger people confront employment in the United States and the effects of their labor on the Sierra Norte de Puebla region. Salzmann’s stunning photographs allow viewers of all cultures to better understand the remarkable people of Sierra Norte de Puebla.
Laurence Salzmann is a native of Philadelphia who has worked as a photographer/filmmaker since the early 1960s. His projects document the lives of little-known groups in America and abroad. He looks at the lives of people ranging from occupants of single room occupancy hotels in New York City to transhumant shepherds in Transylvania, residents of a Mexican village, and Philadelphia Mummers. His photographic study of a nearly extinct Jewish community in Romania was published as The Last Jews of Radauti by Dial/Doubleday in 1983, with text by Ayse Gürsan-Salzmann. Salzmann’s photographic method is deeply informed by his background in anthropology and involves long term participation in and observation of groups or events. His work illustrates how lives and events are shaped by the environments and conditions in which people live.