Photography can tell us stories. The exhibition Aquí el pueblo manda! (Here the people rules!) portrays faces and stories that the system denies, pretends to hide or disguise as "folklore."
The photos-stories of this exhibition introduce us to peoples who refuse to be ignored or annihilated and instead keep resisting in one way or another. They are images of Indigenous communities building Zapatista autonomy; faces of Ayotzinapa parents and students protesting in Mexico City; or fists of women demanding no more femicides and claiming “respect our lives!" They are also photos taken while she traveled together with the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) in their campaign “Struggle for Life”.
Through photography, the author make us feel us the pain and rage, but also the strength and hope that moves peoples who only demand respect for their lives.
Originally from a Purépecha colonized town and raised in Mexico City, the life brought Rosa María Barajas to the Tijuana-San Diego border at the end of the 1980s. Transborder activist, Rosa María studied communication at UNAM (National Autonomous University of Mexico) and she obtained a certificate in photography at San Diego City College while raising her little daughter. Freelance photo-journalist for a while, her reality as a single mother forced her to abandon the photography for several years until 2017 when she is able to return and starts collaborating with independent media such as KPFK Informativo Pacifica in Los Angeles, and Ke Huelga Radio and Centro de Medios libres in Mexico City.
By reporting on communities and social movements Rosa María realized the commercial media is nothing more than an instrument of domination and therefore we have to become our own media. She believes photography can portray people´s pain and resistance that mainstream media will hide, ignore or distort. Photography, radio and other independent electronic media have the power to change the narrative of our Story.
¡Aquí el pueblo manda! comes from a slogan used by Zapatista communities as well as the CNI: "Here the people rule and the government obeys." That is how it should be and someday it will be ...
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