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May 30, 2003

Exhibition highlights Afro-Mexican culture

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It opened last night to a capacity crowd evenly divided between visiting scholars and local aficionados. But the video and photographic exhibition was not the usual artistic fare presented at the Mexican Cultural Institute. The subject matter was controversial…and the message highly critical of that country’s government and society.

Jacqueline Woods, Reporting

Ebano is the latest video production by Eduardo Lizalde Farias, an independent producer from Mexico City. Farias, who has been capturing scenes from across his homeland for several years, has now decided to focus on a special ethnic group that he says have been ignored and not given any kind of recognition in Mexico.

Eduardo Lizalde Farias, Producer, Ebano

“First, I think this reflection about the Afro-Mexican people, I think my country is a very racist country, with all the people with the indigenous and the Black. The reason, and I say in the documentary, is the official history don’t recognize or don’t believe in our ancient African descendants. Well it’s a peculiar thing in Mexico and this, we go to the places and talk with the people and give word to the people.”

The video documentary is presently being shown at the Mexican Cultural Institute at the corner of Newton Barracks and Wilson Street. The show is part of an exhibition by Farias and Mexican photographer Nicolas Triedo on the presence of black people in Mexico.

Nicolas Triedo, Photographer

“It’s more outer photography, its more artistic in black and white. Usually I use the colour because I work with magazines in Mexico City like Mexico Desconocido, National Geographic and other magazines and usually I use colour. But for my own work, for my personal projects I use black and white.”

Jacqueline Woods

“It looks like you like to take pictures of people, what fascinates you about them?”

Nicolas Triedo

“I think for me the most important thing where I go is the people. For me, a country is the people…the landscape is important, but the essence of the place is the people; the faces, the eyes, the colour, the smiles.”

Jacqueline Woods for News 5.

Most Afro-Mexicans trace their heritage to slaves brought to the new world by the Spanish conquistadores.



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