Por Que No?
I've returned to Oaxaca again to teach another workshop during the Day of the Dead celebrations. For the last eight years, I've had the immense privilege to return here. It's an amazing thought that lays bare that it cannot simply be a mere coincidence: I strongly feel that it's an integral part of my photographic destiny.
The five students that came to learn with me shared the enthusiasm about my book BazanCuba. It was the common denominator that brought them together. One of them didn't even have a copy, but by just reading an interview on line made him decide to come.
What we experienced together was all old and new to me. Yet, the same rituals, in the same places seemed to reveal and, at times, bestowed on the beholder the opportunity to see moments under a new light. We worked hard till the last day of the workshop loosing sleep but not hope to capture some slivers of life that in the very personal photographic process became personal fiction, figments of our own interpretation of what we saw unraveling before our eyes.
What I'll never get used to is how differently each one of us saw the same reality. Once again, the Goddess of Photography has helped us realize another true miracle. I'm proud of what each one of them accomplished with hard work and by simply following the advise that along with the group I provided everyday.
Judy, returning for her third Oaxaca workshop, took more poignant and beautiful color images; Stan applied his vision to the daily wanderings capturing some true complex gems; John, after the initial hesitations, managed to probe into the celebrations and created some very personal, intimate pictures; David started perfectly understanding what layering meant creating surprising images with secondary and even tertiary elements; last but not least, Carlos managed to break away from the photojournalistic molding he was in and took some soulful, vivid and powerful images.
What made the workshop even more meaningful was the first and tough editing of my color Cuban work, which, God willing, will be my next book to come. Thanks to the help and suggestions of all my students some images were given the final good bye. Some were moved around in the sequence. A few were nominated as the possible cover's picture. The communal editing has become once again. More sessions will come.