Adriana Zehbrauskas

Jose Maria Morelos, Oaxaca, Mexico, August 23rd, 2014: ose Maria Morelos, Oaxaca, August 22nd,2014: Aracely Montserrat, 12, with the parrot Teresa during a visit to her aunt's house in Jose Maria Morelos. For years Mexico's black communities have lived isolated and often forgotten, but still practicing some of the traditions of their African descendants, largely slaves and escaped slaves who fled into remote hills in southern Mexico. But a new effort is underway to officially count the population in the next national census in February, what advocates call a key step in bringing recognition to the communities and making the country more aware of people from what is commonly called "the third root." (after European and indigenous roots). Photograph by © Adriana Zehbrauskas
Jose Maria Morelos, Oaxaca, Mexico, August 23rd, 2014:  Aracely Montserrat, 12, with the parrot Teresa during a visit to her aunt’s house in Jose Maria Morelos. For years Mexico’s black communities have lived isolated and often forgotten, but still practicing some of the traditions of their African descendants, largely slaves and escaped slaves who fled into remote hills in southern Mexico. But a new effort is underway to officially count the population in the next national census in February, what advocates call a key step in bringing recognition to the communities and making the country more aware of people from what is commonly called “the third root.” (after European and indigenous roots). Photograph by © Adriana Zehbrauskas

September’s featured photographer is Adriana Zehbrauskas

ADRIANA ZEHBRAUSKAS was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil. She received a degree in Journalism and moved to Paris where she studied Linguistics and Phonetics at the Sorbonne Nouvelle. She worked as a staff photographer for Folha de S. Paulo, in Brazil, for 11 years, traveling extensively throughout the country and abroad.

As a free-lancer photojurnalist based in Mexico City, she contributes regularly with the New York Times. Other clients include the Wall Street Journal, The Sunday Times, Sunday Telegraph, Glamour Magazine, The Guardian, Paris Match, Le Figaro, Save the Children and the World Health Organization among others.

Adriana is  one of the three photographers  profiled in the documentary “Beyond Assignment” (USA, 2011), alongside Mariella Furrer and Gali Tibbon. The film was produced by The Knight Center for International Media and the University of Miami and features the Tepito project.

Her project on Faith in Brazil and Mexico was awarded a Art & Worship World Prize by the Niavaran Artistic Creation Foundation and a book is currently under production to be published by Bei Editores in São Paulo, Brasil. She was a finalist for the New York Photo Awards 2009 and 2010 and is an instructor with the Foundry Photojournalism Workshops.

Her photos are  also featured in the books ’24 Stunden im Leben der katholischen Kirche’, Random House , Munich, 2005 , ‘In Search of Hope – The Global Diaries of Mariane Pearl’, powerHouse Books, New York, 2007 and the ‘Nike Human Race’ , New York, 2008.

Adriana is the recipient of the Troféu Mulher Imprensa (photojournalist newspaper/magazine), São Paulo, Brazil, Feb 2012.

Black Mexico: An Isolated And Often Forgotten Culture

José María Morelos, Mexico: this isolated village is named for an independence hero, thought to have had black ancestors, who helped abolish slavery in Mexico. It lies in the rugged hills of southwestern Mexico, among a smattering of towns and hamlets that have long embraced a heritage from African slaves who were brought here to work in mines and on sugar plantations in the 16th century.

Just how many people are willing to share that pride may soon be put to the test as Mexico moves to do something it has not attempted in decades and never on its modern census: ask people if they consider themselves black.

Cuajinicuilapa, Guerrero, Mexico, August 23rd, 2014: Petra Rodriguez Savilán at her home in Cuajinicuilapa, in the Mexican southern state of Guerrero. A renewed effort by the black or "Afromexican" community is under way to gain recognization from the government. The population is small and scattered among remote towns and hamlets on the pacific and Caribbean coast but they played a key role in Mexican history and are demanding to be counted in the next census. Photograph by © Adriana Zehbrauskas
Cuajinicuilapa, Guerrero, Mexico, August 23rd, 2014: Petra Rodriguez Savilán at her home in Cuajinicuilapa, in the Mexican southern state of Guerrero. A renewed effort by the black or “Afromexican” community is under way to gain recognization from the government. The population is small and scattered among remote towns and hamlets on the pacific and Caribbean coast but they played a key role in Mexican history and are demanding to be counted in the next census. Photograph by © Adriana Zehbrauskas
Jose Maria Morelos, Oaxaca, August 22nd,2014: A boy plays on the floor of his house in José Maria Morelos, Oaxaca. This isolated village is named for an independence hero, thought to have had black ancestors, who helped abolish slavery in Mexico. It lies in the rugged hills of southwestern Mexico, among a smattering of towns and hamlets that have long embraced a heritage from African slaves who were brought here to work in mines and on sugar plantations in the 16th century. Photograph by © Adriana Zehbrauskas
Jose Maria Morelos, Oaxaca, August 22nd, 2014:  A boy plays on the floor of his house in José Maria Morelos, Oaxaca. This isolated village is named for an independence hero, thought to have had black ancestors, who helped abolish slavery in Mexico. It lies in the rugged hills of southwestern Mexico, among a smattering of towns and hamlets that have long embraced a heritage from African slaves who were brought here to work in mines and on sugar plantations in the 16th century.Photograph by © Adriana Zehbrauskas
Jose Maria Morelos, Oaxaca, August 22nd,2014: Black community in Oaxaca's Costa Chica. Photograph by © Adriana Zehbrauskas for The New York Times
Jose Maria Morelos, Oaxaca, August 22nd,2014:Black community in Oaxaca’s Costa Chica.Photograph by © Adriana Zehbrauskas for The New York Times
Jose Maria Morelos, Oaxaca, Mexico, August 23rd, 2014: lda Mairen Olmedo, who earns a living fishing, with her family at her house; two of her seven children and seven of her eight grandchildren came to visit during the weekend. For years Mexico's black communities have lived isolated and often forgotten, but still practicing some of the traditions of their African descendants, largely slaves and escaped slaves who fled into remote hills in southern Mexico. But a new effort is underway to officially count the population in the next national census in February, what advocates call a key step in bringing recognition to the communities and making the country more aware of people from what is commonly called "the third root." (after European and indigenous roots).Photograph by © Adriana Zehbrauskas
Jose Maria Morelos, Oaxaca, Mexico, August 23rd, 2014: lda Mairen Olmedo, who earns a living fishing, with her family at her house; two of her seven children and seven of her eight grandchildren came to visit during the weekend. For years Mexico’s black communities have lived isolated and often forgotten, but still practicing some of the traditions of their African descendants, largely slaves and escaped slaves who fled into remote hills in southern Mexico. But a new effort is underway to officially count the population in the next national census in February, what advocates call a key step in bringing recognition to the communities and making the country more aware of people from what is commonly called “the third root.” (after European and indigenous roots).Photograph by © Adriana Zehbrauskas
Jose Maria Morelos, Oaxaca, August 22nd,2014: Osiris Acevedo Mairen, 19 ( Elda Mairen Olmedo's daughter) watches the soap opera on TV. For years Mexico's black communities have lived isolated and often forgotten, but still practicing some of the traditions of their African descendants, largely slaves and escaped slaves who fled into remote hills in southern Mexico. But a new effort is underway to officially count the population in the next national census in February, what advocates call a key step in bringing recognition to the communities and making the country more aware of people from what is commonly called "the third root." (after European and indigenous roots). Photograph by © Adriana Zehbrauskas
Jose Maria Morelos, Oaxaca, August 22nd,2014: Osiris Acevedo Mairen, 19 ( Elda Mairen Olmedo’s daughter) watches the soap opera on TV. For years Mexico’s black communities have lived isolated and often forgotten, but still practicing some of the traditions of their African descendants, largely slaves and escaped slaves who fled into remote hills in southern Mexico. But a new effort is underway to officially count the population in the next national census in February, what advocates call a key step in bringing recognition to the communities and making the country more aware of people from what is commonly called “the third root.” (after European and indigenous roots). Photograph by © Adriana Zehbrauskas
Jose Maria Morelos, Oaxaca, Mexico, August 23rd, 2014: Jose Maria Morelos, Oaxaca, August 22nd,2014: People wait for boats to cross the river on a rainy late afternoon in Santa Maria Xicometepec, also known as La Boquilla, where the great majority of residents are Afromexicans. For years Mexico's black communities have lived isolated and often forgotten, but still practicing some of the traditions of their African descendants, largely slaves and escaped slaves who fled into remote hills in southern Mexico. But a new effort is underway to officially count the population in the next national census in February, what advocates call a key step in bringing recognition to the communities and making the country more aware of people from what is commonly called "the third root." (after European and indigenous roots). Photograph by © Adriana Zehbrauskas
Jose Maria Morelos, Oaxaca, Mexico, August 23rd, 2014: People wait for boats to cross the river on a rainy late afternoon in Santa Maria Xicometepec, also known as La Boquilla, where the great majority of residents are Afromexicans. For years Mexico’s black communities have lived isolated and often forgotten, but still practicing some of the traditions of their African descendants, largely slaves and escaped slaves who fled into remote hills in southern Mexico. But a new effort is underway to officially count the population in the next national census in February, what advocates call a key step in bringing recognition to the communities and making the country more aware of people from what is commonly called “the third root.” (after European and indigenous roots). Photograph by © Adriana Zehbrauskas
Jose Maria Morelos, Oaxaca, August 22nd,2014: Loading a papaya truck, the main economic activity in the region. For years Mexico's black communities have lived isolated and often forgotten, but still practicing some of the traditions of their African descendants, largely slaves and escaped slaves who fled into remote hills in southern Mexico. But a new effort is underway to officially count the population in the next national census in February, what advocates call a key step in bringing recognition to the communities and making the country more aware of people from what is commonly called "the third root." (after European and indigenous roots). Photograph by © Adriana Zehbrauskas for The New York Times
Jose Maria Morelos, Oaxaca, August 22nd,2014: Loading a papaya truck, the main economic activity in the region.
For years Mexico’s black communities have lived isolated and often forgotten, but still practicing some of the traditions of their African descendants, largely slaves and escaped slaves who fled into remote hills in southern Mexico. But a new effort is underway to officially count the population in the next national census in February, what advocates call a key step in bringing recognition to the communities and making the country more aware of people from what is commonly called “the third root.” (after European and indigenous roots).
Photograph by © Adriana Zehbrauskas for The New York Times
Jose Maria Morelos, Oaxaca, August 22nd, 2014. A bar in a late afternoon with rain in Santa Maria Xicometepec, also known as La Boquilla, where the great majority of residents are Afromexicans. For years Mexico's black communities have lived isolated and often forgotten, but still practicing some of the traditions of their African descendants, largely slaves and escaped slaves who fled into remote hills in southern Mexico. But a new effort is underway to officially count the population in the next national census in February, what advocates call a key step in bringing recognition to the communities and making the country more aware of people from what is commonly called "the third root." (after European and indigenous roots). Photograph by © Adriana Zehbrauskas
Jose Maria Morelos, Oaxaca, August 22nd, 2014: A bar in a late afternoon with rain in Santa Maria Xicometepec, also known as La Boquilla, where the great majority of residents are Afromexicans. For years Mexico’s black communities have lived isolated and often forgotten, but still practicing some of the traditions of their African descendants, largely slaves and escaped slaves who fled into remote hills in southern Mexico. But a new effort is underway to officially count the population in the next national census in February, what advocates call a key step in bringing recognition to the communities and making the country more aware of people from what is commonly called “the third root.” (after European and indigenous roots). Photograph by © Adriana Zehbrauskas
Jose Maria Morelos, Oaxaca, August 22nd, 2014. A bar in a late afternoon with rain in Santa Maria Xicometepec, also known as La Boquilla, where the great majority of residents are Afromexicans. For years Mexico's black communities have lived isolated and often forgotten, but still practicing some of the traditions of their African descendants, largely slaves and escaped slaves who fled into remote hills in southern Mexico. But a new effort is underway to officially count the population in the next national census in February, what advocates call a key step in bringing recognition to the communities and making the country more aware of people from what is commonly called "the third root." (after European and indigenous roots). Photograph by © Adriana Zehbrauskas
Jose Maria Morelos, Oaxaca, August 22nd, 2014. A bar in a late afternoon with rain in Santa Maria Xicometepec, also known as La Boquilla, where the great majority of residents are Afromexicans. For years Mexico’s black communities have lived isolated and often forgotten, but still practicing some of the traditions of their African descendants, largely slaves and escaped slaves who fled into remote hills in southern Mexico. But a new effort is underway to officially count the population in the next national census in February, what advocates call a key step in bringing recognition to the communities and making the country more aware of people from what is commonly called “the third root.” (after European and indigenous roots). Photograph by © Adriana Zehbrauskas

Interview with Adriana Zehbrauskas

Foto Féminas: where are you based as a photographer?

Adriana Zehbrauskas: I work mainly in Mexico, and Central America and occasionally in South America.

FF: how do your projects come about?

AZ: They are born in many different ways, i don’t i have a formula. Sometimes it’s an assignment that I decide to expand, sometimes it’s a spark of an idea that little by little grows inside me and finally has to be pushed out, sometimes its from reading news stories and pursuing an angle that I found interesting. But always, always, it’s born out of curiosity. I don’t start with a mission, I start with a question: “What is going on?”

FF: what are you interested in documenting?

AZ: The lives of anonymous people, stories that connect us all as humans but we don’t always have the time, opportunity, or even, I dare say, interest to listen or see.

I want to be able to look into things that are not seen, but deserve to, to recognize the beauty and the grandeur in the small little things of everyday life – which also implies denouncing the false grandeur of some big things!

I believe photojournalism is a bridge, a powerful tool to connect minds and hearts, to bring distant places close, to connect lives and bring opportunities for discovery and change.

To see more of Adriana Zehbrauskas work, here.


La fotógrafa del mes de Septiembre es Adriana Zehbrauskas

Adriana Zehbrauskas nació en Sao Paulo, Brasil donde recibe su diploma en periodismo. Posteriormente se muda a Paris donde estudia lingüística y fonética en la Sorbonne Nouvelle. Al regresar a Brasil, trabaja como fotógrafa para Folha de S. Paulo, Brasil, durante once años, viajando alrededor de todo el país y al extranjero.

Como fotoperiodista residenciada en Ciudad de México, trabaja de forma autónoma y contribuye con frecuencia a varias publicaciones internacionales, tales como, The New York Times,  The Wall Street Journal, The Sunday Times, The Sunday Telegraph, Glamour Magazine, The Guardian, Paris Match, Le Figaro, Save the Children y el World Health Organization entre otros.

Asimismo, Adriana es una de las tres fotógrafas con perfil en el documental Beyond Assignment (USA, 2011), al lado de Mariella Furrer y Gali Tibbon. La película fue producida por el centro internacional The Knight Media y la Universidad de Miami y con la colaboración de Tepito Project.

Su proyecto sobre la fé entre Brasil y México recibió el premio de Art & Worship World por el Niavaran Artistic Creation Foundation y actualmente su libro está siendo producido y será publicado por Bei Editores en São Paulo, Brasil. Zehbrauskas fue finalista en New York Photo Awards en 2009 y 2010 y por el momento es instructora en la Foundry Photojournalism Workshops.

Sus fotos están destacadas en los libros 24 Stunden im Leben der katholischen Kirche, (Random House, Munich, 2005), In Search of Hope-The Global Diaries of Mariane Pearl (powerHouse Books, New York, 2007) y Nike Human Race, (New York, 2008).

Adriana recibió Troféu Mulher Imprensa (una revista/periódico), São Paulo, Brasil, Febrero 2012

Black Mexico: An Isolated And Often Forgotten Culture

José María Morelos, Mexico: Este pueblo aislado, que fue nombrado así por un héroe independentista, quien se cree que fue ayudado por sus ancestros a abolir la esclavitud en México. El pueblo se sitúa en las áridas colinas del suroeste de México, entre un pequeño número de pueblos y aldeas, que durante mucho tiempo acogieron una larga herencia de esclavos africanos que llegaron a México para trabajar en las minas y en las plantaciones de azúcar durante el siglo XVI.

Queda mencionar la cantidad de gente dispuesta a compartir este orgullo; quizá sería importante comprobar como México intenta hacer algo que no se había planteado en las ultimas décadas, y mucho menos en su población actual: preguntar a la gente si se consideran a si mismos africanos.

Entrevista con Adriana Zehbrauskas

¿Principalmente dónde trabajas como fotógrafa?

Principalmente trabajo en México, América Central y ocasionalmente en Sur América.

¿Cómo surgen tus proyectos fotográficos?

Nacen de diferentes maneras, no tengo una fórmula concreta. A menudo son conceptos que decido ampliar, otras veces es la chispa de una idea que poco a poco crece dentro de mi, hasta que toma forma y nace la idea. Puede provenir del hecho de leer alguna noticia y seguir el ángulo que encuentro interesante. Pero siempre, siempre las ideas nacen de la curiosidad. Nunca empiezo con una meta o misión, empiezo con una pregunta: “Que está pasando”?.

¿Qué te interesa documentar?

La vida de gente anónima, sobre todo historias que vinculan a todos los seres humanos aunque no siempre tengamos el tiempo, la oportunidad o incluso me atrevo a decir, el interés de escucharlo o fijarnos en ello.

Me gusta investigar aquellas cosas que no se ven a simple vista, pero que merecen ser reconocidas por su belleza y grandeza dentro de los pequeños detalles de la vida cotidiana que también implican una denuncia a la falsa grandeza de las cosas “importantes”.

Creo que el fotoperiodismo es un puente, una herramienta poderosa, que conecta las mentes y las corazones, y nos acerca a lugares lejanos que conectan nuestras vidas, trayendo oportunidades para descubrir y generar un cambio.

Para ver más de el trabajo de Adriana Zehbrauskas, aquí.

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