When French photographer Bernard Plossu was 20 years old he went to Mexico to visit his grandparents who had recently emigrated from China. He traversed the country for a year (1965-66) from the mountains to the beach to the desert, taking photos with a borrowed camera. I came across a book with some of his work that included “Personal Notes,” a few of which I translated (from Spanish) below. It’s been fascinating to explore other photographers’ images of Mexico over the years and will be sharing some of my favorites.
“…in Mexico the visible is still more demented than the imaginable. The real flies…”
“…night falls, the sky is full of stars and there, in all of Chiapas, alone, behind a ramshackle, noisy truck, in the middle of pitchers of milk under the milky way…”
“…there are nights in Oaxaca in which life smells delicious. Tonight, for example, a warm ambience reigns, mysterious, perfumed…”
“…the master of the hacienda died a while ago. Nevertheless, every night they offer a succulent meal on his table, in his empty seat: fresh fruit of the day…”
“…the old lady and sweet woman that live in the hut at the edge of the road reheat the beans that they will wrap in the tortillas. It’s the hour in which everything is ochre. The furrowed skin of her face and of her feet have the same tone as the floor of stamped earth, of the straw of the roof, of the landscape. Outside, a moment of peace in the rhythm of her hands patting the dough for centuries and centuries…”
Here’s a look at the book of his photos from the trip, Le Voyage Mexicain 1965-1966: