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Mexico City through History and Culture$
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Linda A. Newson and John King

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780197264461

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197264461.001.0001

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The Photographic City

The Photographic City

A City Heading in the Opposite Direction

(p.121) 7. The Photographic City
Mexico City through History and Culture


British Academy

This chapter presents powerful images and accounts that chronicle contemporary urban life in Mexico. The images discussed were captured by the photographer Maya Goded. These photographs and narratives chronicle the desolation of death, the world of the child and the bleak world of prostitution. In addition to these, the woman’s prison, the attractions of lucha libre (masked wrestling), the national lottery and games of chance, and the mass rallies of the Zapatistas, are painted vibrantly through chronicles and accounts. In these chronicles and photographs, the theme of poverty and the failure of the government to address the needs of the marginalized people form the unifying voice of these accounts. Prostitution, wrestling and the lottery became means for the people to escape poverty and the humdrum of everyday lives marked with difficulties. And the mistreatment of children, the trafficking of the rights of women in prisons and the lack of systematic identification of the victims of death reflect the failure of the government to produce laws and services that protect its people. However, despite the bleakness of the photographs and the chronicles presented herein, they nevertheless reflect the resilience of the Mexicans in surviving the challenges of life despite the feeling of being marginalized.

Keywords:   powerful images, contemporary urban life, Maya Goded, death, child, prostitution, women’s prison, lucha libre, national lottery, Zapatistas

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