I started to discover the most interesting stuff about Mexico when I left. I’m not gonna lie, I never realized what Mexico actually stands for until I saw the country as an outsider. In the same way, I got a closer perspective of the foreigner’s point of view.
It kinda surprises me and never found the words to express what Mexico is (within its thousands of faces). I think is better to show it, not just talk about it, but really put the culture, society and voices of the Mexicans in a visual way.
I have tried a couple of times (and will doing it as much as I can), but if a professional view of the culture is what people are looking for, then my biggest suggestion would be the VICE documentaries.
The first time I saw a VICE documentary about Mexico was the one about the “Mexican Pointy Boots“. I discovered that mexican fashion through VICE. I had never heard about it before. This is the kind of documentary that I like to see, closer to the people. It describes the real ‘feeling’ of the society, the thoughts of the Mexican people and in their own words.
Then I started to look more documentaries of the same style. What else could I discover from my country in this original journalistic enterprise? Well, there were more than expected, here a short list with some of my favorites, including the ones produced with the mexican beer brand “Indio”:
Cholombians are this unknown fashion from the northern city Monterrey that takes the “Cholo” thing and merges it with Cumbia, in fact the original colombian Cumbia, and created a new way to enjoy music. Might be strange for the rest of us, but they feel ok with it.
“The kids without love” as known in Mexico. Living in Mexico City is a real challenge, because is a city that uses to change extremely fast fitting to the last trends, where music will be one of the characteristics that define these groups. Metal-heads, punks, disco-girls, etc. In the “barrios” of Mexico City? Reggaeton.
… and as said, music identifies you better in Mexico City.
Rockabilly is very well-known music genre from the 50’s in the US. Nowadays it is reborn and the pin-up girls are coming to life again. It justs seems that… it never left from Mexico.
In a very “macho” country like Mexico, homosexuality and transgender still rolls the eyes of the most conservative sides of the country… except in Oaxaca, where the third gender is a subject of a proud celebration and long-time tradition of respect and admiration.
Photographing the violence in Mexico is not a very risky job in comparison to any other places in the north of the country. But still, Mexico City is a huge jungle of steel and cement with more than 23 Million inhabitants. Violence will appear in the very diverse spots of the city. This morbid attraction for violence and death gives life to “Alarma!”.
But being a journalist in northern Mexico is equally dangerous as to be in any warzone (more than in Irak, according to some numbers). But it is not because the have accidents, but because they have to give the reports of the famous “War on drugs”. And they can’t escape once they started their job. “Don’t talk bad about me”, would be the most known phrase that these journalists hear… and then the bullets come. These brave women in the north keep their job going:
Often forgotten the immigrants crossing the southern border probably have the worst time. Sometimes they say is harder to cross to Mexico than to the US.
Politics, drugs and violence. Always together. But in Mexico it also puts religion and immigration together. But, contrary to the main idea, the Mexicans in this documentary made their way to the top… almost to the US presidency with republic politician that wanted to stop the War on Drugs… Republican stopping ‘war’ on ‘drugs’? You have to see why.
And in the middle of the chaos, there’s still light.