Vision del Norte was a crowd-funded project which offered a series of free photography workshops along the northern border of Mexico from March to May of 2016. We are two photographers, Adél Koleszár Erin Lee and who together launched this purely educational and non-profit initiative. We offered the people living in the border cities of Mexicali, Baja California / Nogales, Sonora / Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua the opportunity to participate in, and learn from free artistic education. We initiated the project after travelling together throughout some of the northern states of Mexico in early 2015. We saw that the cities in this area of the country are rather isolated in the middle of the desert; also living first hand through a drug and migration war they are forced to deal with the weight of the border as a physical and cultural division. What we realized through the people we met on that initial journey was that many of them wanted to tell their stories, to share their experiences with outsiders. We wanted to contribute by offering a platform for them to construct photographic projects in order to share their views and stories of their lives with the world. The project was made possible through a successful crowd-funding campaign and we were able to carry out these free photography workshops in various cities on the northern border of Mexico. We came to the decision of visiting those three particular cities based on their population size; cities that had at least 200,000 people but neither were large cities that already have a certain level of options to study artistic education or artistic communities to be part of. The workshops were open to any person living in those areas regardless of their knowledge of photography or access to professional equipment. The goal was not to teach how to use a camera, but to communicate using visual language, explore self-expression through photography and also for the participants to be exposed to contemporary photography and the possibilities of sharing their own work. We asked the participants to come to the workshops with an idea in mind, something that they wished to develop into a series over the three-month course of the workshop and eventually, present their final series in a closing exhibition. We have now collated the final projects of all the participants who completed the workshops here in this book, which we hope serves as way for the rest of us as spectators, to see into what life is like for communities living on the northern border of Mexico, to show what is their ‘Visión del Norte’?
21 x 30 cm // 22 single papers with double-sided prints // Color digital - offset printed // Edition of 100 // Self-published