Photography can become a tool for awareness and self-discovery. The images of Eunice Adorno stand out in the realm of documentary photography for challenging the stereotypes ingrained in Mexican culture.
As Adorno explains on her website:
“The basic elements of photographic language, portraits, and landscapes regain their significance when I choose to frame characters, their journeys, and objects. I seek to show resistance: mine, theirs, and, hopefully, that of the whole community, by looking from personal, intimate, and everyday experiences.”
Adorno has undergone several stages as an artist, and her projects are proof of this evolution. The closeness, discourse, and aesthetics of her work have made her recipient of several awards and distinctions throughout her career.
Here are some of her most acclaimed projects:
After exiting the El Centro newspaper, Adorno sought to formalize her first independent project, finding inspiration in one of Mexico’s most mentioned border cities, Ciudad Juarez. This city with its undefined territory, where violence runs deep, forces its inhabitants to lead a life full of fear and uncertainty. It’s defined by its empty streets, closed bars, collective fear, and permanent military presence.
Adorno challenges the feigned identity of this fear-based life by unraveling the inexplicable reality that is experienced over there. She raises questions on day-to-day routines, as she tries to find ways to capture terror.
Her images show those who rebel against confinement and fear. The portraits look for ways to understand the violence that persists within the country, as well as how its citizens fight to survive horror and insecurity.
This project came from the photographer’s love of capturing grupero style dancing. This dance is mostly prominent in the northern region of Mexico and seems to go hand in hand with a conversation on migration, poverty, drug trafficking, rural versus suburban, etc.
Adorno tries to find through the grupero music genre a subjective way to understand this complex topic. The photographer perfectly captures the people who are part of this phenomenon as they portray and assimilate reality in their own peculiar way. This series attempts to discover through the specific identity of the northern, grupero, subculture the tragic yet humorous aspect of some of the nation’s most crucial topics.
Perhaps Adorno’s most famous endeavor, this photo-documentary on the female population of the Mennonite community in Nuevo Ideal, Durango, was not only published by La Fábrica, but also won the 21010 Fernando Benítez National Photojournalism Award.
The photographer wanted to immortalize, through images, the emotional bonds shared by these women who have their own way of finding fulfillment. Passion, friendship, secrets, and pleasures are not the words that come to our minds when we think of Mennonites. Yet they too have feelings and lives that Adorno is able to capture in her pictures.
“I understand that through every journey, I seek, in many ways, my own story and identity. I also know that to look at Mennonite women is to be mutually be observed by them. I accept being looked at and share those moments of light they provided me.”
You can find out more about Eunice Adorno and her different projects on her website. As Mexico’s photography continues to grow, we as spectators have the responsibility to evolve with it. Find out more about this photographic scene and give this wonderful artistic expression a chance to surprise you.
Translated by María Suárez