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Photography by Ernesto Bazan
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Group Waiting For Pablo
Waiting For Pablo

Each year returning to Oaxaca fills me with joy for the charm the city has, for the touching celebrations we will be photographing and for the fond memories I have of the previous workshops.

I also love the challenge to convey through photography the two essentials elements of our existence: life and death.

The more I photograph, the more I realize that most of my pictures are about this profound dichotomy.

Another small group, totally imbued in the same spirituality described in the Peruvian workshop. The group Waiting for Pablo was named after our absentminded and a bit disorganized printer. In the end, we liked him so much though that we decided to dedicate to his unpredictable modus operandi the group’s name. I’m sure he will smile when he will read this.

The two students couldn’t have been more different and yet so close in their desire to learn, to break the mold, to get under their subjects’ skin.

We had a great time, discovered new things to photograph, made a tight selection of their images. I also discovered in Joyce and Juan two absolutely sharp and tough editors of my own work. Upon their request, I shared my Cuban project with them. Their insight, their ability to beautifully articulate their opinions, their constructive criticism convinced me to eliminate a few images and even change part of the sequence.

One day Joyce told me: “Ernesto I think these images of yours are very important. I’m dying to see them published. Have you ever thought what would happen if you were to die before the book would come out?” I was startled; it had never occurred to me that this could indeed happen. I had no clear answer to her question, but she made me ponder about the fragility of our existence, about life and death, which were exactly the topics of our probe, of my photographic life.

Was that a warning, a revelation or a simple thought with no underlying message? I don’t like to talk about prophecies. I’m not addicted to this type of things. I don’t want to know where the line of my life begins and where it ends.

So I simply smiled and replied that I hold enough doses of optimism within me to believe that one way or the other the book will come out at the right time. Time will tell.
My testament for the future.

EB

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