I have awakened in a lot of silence.
My dreams contain too much poetry and these become an internal chaos.
They call me in many ways, all of them always wanting to get the attention of silent public. I don’t have much time to know who I am, but I understand that they want to contradict me by calling me with a lot of noise.
My silence will always be much stronger than all the noise produced inside me. I believe in the metaphor as a way of life and it lives around my soul.
I was born in a lot of silence. Even when I was born I didn’t cry, they thought I was mute, and they wanted to make me talk, but they could not, nobody could.
I think my body can speak better than me and that will always be a better option for me.
Let me introduce myself.
I’m your deepest silence.
With special THANKS to Priscila Arrieta
For 6 months trip by the Otomi – Tepehua,
Indian zone of the state of Hidalgo, Mexico area.
Most people who allowed me to portray their faces do not speak Spanish.
They have their own native language. They harvest coffee,corn,
peas, beans etc …
The small stories that accompany each portrait are words, thoughts and
ideas from both sides.
Just as the photographs were taken, a translator told me what they thought.
This is a sign of the profound strength of our state, Hidalgo.
The sun, the only witness who saw the afternoon’s work, marked my face more than my husband. The night came only to ask “What did you do? What’s to eat?” No one more than the sun, insolent, asked: “How much do you have to work today, so anyone will notice?”
“Above, always above.”
We see the light. We prefer because we care for others, because we do something eternal day to day. Above, the place we come from and where we are going. Where the routine is forever and always the same. Here in this heaven, it helps us all to be one. The light comes and enlightens us; leaves us at night, because the next morning we will know that this, too, is the afterlife.
My eyes see nothing, always the same, always the field, always the rain. I am a survivor of my office, rain flooded fields. Hope fills my hands with mud every morning.
You see my face marked? You’re looking at all the lines on my face?
I do not understand what you say. I want to know who you are and why you came to my home to see me.
Wood has struck me with oils and textures. He did not return and could not stop to wait; wood waits for no one.
I had no chance to dream.
I’ve been in the field since the beginning of my memory. I know no change. In the field there are no options. The field is routine, very noble and very beautiful. But without options, they believed that the earth would not hold, and showed them the power the land gives me when I’m in the harvest.
They need to know their opportunities out of the field, but someone has to show them that they cannot be afraid to leave the place where they were born. So I’m here in front of you. I know my chances.
Road over the streets:
pavement, dirt, dust…
I hope for someone, just hope. Road and wait.
I am what you have forgotten: the street pavement, dirt and dust.
The field has always been my way of life. Water, wind and poverty have always gone ahead. My happiness does not survive with corn and coffee. Flying with the annual harvest where happiness flooded every home. Buyers come quickly to see us. We cannot always sell at our discretion. We are not always happy.
I cannot look at you.
You are a foreigner and nobody knows where you come from.
Who buys from you?
I have stove ash all over my mind and you do not stop using that thing to steal my face…
Raided under my cheeks, under my cheekbones, survives a smile that stands forged by fire brick. The lips that support it have been sullied, wasted and returned to sully the river. Angry eyes that hide more than joys.
Steal my soul because you cannot steal anything else.
My body is dust.
The illusion age.
I was born in a world full of neglect and violence. Rob my soul because men want my body. Rob my soul because it has no economic value; it is useless here. Take her. Transform her into hope and light.
With special thanks for your participation in this project:
Actopan is one of the communities near the city of Pachuca which is the capital of the State of Hidalgo, in Mexico. The name ‘Actopan’ comes from the Otomí: Man’uts’i and means my small way. On the 13 July 2015, they held the 469th anniversary of the founding of the town, a tradition which they continue every year. This is where my story begins of how Don Juan Erbinio Pérez López worked for more than 40 years in the very heart of this fair.
Don Juan talks to us about the traditions of the fair, which was created to celebrate the anniversary of the Actopan district. This place is full of culture and amazing food, and is home to a unique style of grill cooking.
A competition exists specifically on the subject of barbecue and at each event there are three places, first place takes the title of being the best barbacoyero of the country. For the winner this is a huge honour, since Actopan is known as the place where the best barbecue exists in all of Mexico.
Don Juan who now works the streets of the fair, shows us photos of back when he was a truck driver. Even after his accident where he lost both of his legs, he continued working as a trailer driver.
After a time he was already very tired from so many years of being on the road and driving, it was then that he chose to continue his life as a bolero or shoe shiner.
In the words of Don Juan he says “there is no better way to describe this fabulous fair than with photography”.
It is here while he works that Don Juan sees all walks of life on the streets of Actopan, and creates his pathway, in his own small way.