Anahita Avalos appeared in the first edition of PUBLICATION.
Anahita lives in Villahermosa, Mexico, she makes many of her pictures whilst out on the streets with her son Ulysses who was born with a rare genetic disorder called Costello Syndrome. When I first saw Anahitas work I knew she was one of those rare people with an innate photographic talent, she has a natural eye for observation, composition and use of color. Working with a compact digital camera she captures the beauty and poetry of Mexican street life in an effortless manner that many art and photography graduates can only aspire to.
"When I take pictures in the streets of Villahermosa, I am always asked the same question porqué?..why?.
Villahermosa is not a touristic place, and I don't look like a tourist either. People see a local girl who seems interested in everything that's happening in the street and photographs everyone. They first assume I work for a newspaper but when I say I'm just taking pictures for myself, this seems not to make sense to them. Things get a bit blurry and that's when I'm asked not to take pictures.
We live in a country where the majority of people survive, they struggle to make a living everyday, they have no help, no hope. And to make things worse Mexico's been getting more and more violent for the last 3 years, about 30000 people were killed mostly due to drug related violence. Everyday people (mostly children) are kidnapped and one can see on TV decapitated, burned or cut bodies. People are scared and think that the person with a camera must be wanting to report their illegal activity (selling stolen goods, pirated DVD's etc) or worse to hurt them. I can understand their fears but I can't help wondering why they usually and naturally associate the camera to something that will hurt them. How did it become obvious that the camera could do more bad things than interesting things? Why do people think that someone who wants to hurt them will first take pictures of them?
In 2007 a local newspaper published a few pictures of mine. One of the pictures showed a young boy. The father complained to the newspaper and the journalist responded, why are you complaining when a good photographer was inspired by your son and made a beautiful picturre of him? Who is your favorite singer? Would you complain if he sang a song about your son?"