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A crowd of people stood and stared

An aside from Yucatan, if I may.

A unique form of journalism in Mexico is the photography of trauma. As one walks the streets of Mexico City, they pass on every second or third street corner a news stand, and amongst the magazines showing celebrities and cakes and cars and sports stars, there is a magazine called El Gráfico, which is the most prominent of its kind, and is named aptly. The cover of this more often than not has a dead body shown fully uncensored. Two that come easily to memory were the decaying sole of a foot, freshly dug up from a shallow grave, and a torso-upwards image of the yellowed, shriveled remains of a man who has had a machete applied laterally to one temple, to the depth of the nose. Others show traffic accident victims still in the remains of their vehicles. People walk past this with no concern.

And, one can objectively classify these photographs as being technically immaculate. There have been gallery displays of this work, and there are photographers famous in the genre. (You can read an interview with one, Enrique Metinides, here.) The composition is always exquisite, and the angle chosen to be as dramatic as possible, and indeed UNAM, the finest university in the country, offers courses on how to take these photographs, and take them as well as possible.

It is... different.

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