Efrain Ascencio Cedillo: A Mexican photographer who depicted the real Mexico

Photo: Efrain Ascencio Cedillo

Too often, the general vision of poor countries and oppressed peoples is provided by the white male gaze and viewpoint.

People – journalists, photographers and tourists – from the United States come to Mexico for example, for two weeks. And it is their US-centric version of the world that makes its way into the English-language media and into the viral videos and photos.

These visitors are only capable of reproducing tropes and objectifying locals because they do not know or comprehend much about the shattering injustices and bravery of local life.

Efrain was my close friend’s brother. He died suddenly last week. He was an incredible photographer (and teacher) who will likely never be known outside of Mexico, because he didn’t have the privilege of being from the US or Europe. But his photos were beautiful, respectful, and generous. Photos are never objective. And his – rather than othering the subjects, as white male visitors so often do – showed his deep appreciation and understanding of them.

The following photos are just a small selection from his most recent photos.

[Tamara Pearson is a journalist and author of The Butterfly Prison and children's book The Beauty Rules of Flowertown. She blogs at resistancewords.com.]

Photo: Efrain Ascencio Cedillo
Photo: Efrain Ascencio Cedillo
Photo: Efrain Ascencio Cedillo
Photo: Efrain Ascencio Cedillo
Photo: Efrain Ascencio Cedillo
Photo: Efrain Ascencio Cedillo
Photo: Efrain Ascencio Cedillo
Photo: Efrain Ascencio Cedillo
Photo: Efrain Ascencio Cedillo
Photo: Efrain Ascencio Cedillo
Photo: Efrain Ascencio Cedillo
Photo: Efrain Ascencio Cedillo
Photo: Efrain Ascencio Cedillo
Photo: Efrain Ascencio Cedillo
Photo: Efrain Ascencio Cedillo
Photo: Efrain Ascencio Cedillo
Photo: Efrain Ascencio Cedillo
Photo: Efrain Ascencio Cedillo
Photo: Efrain Ascencio Cedillo
Photo: Efrain Ascencio Cedillo

If you like our work, become a supporter

Green Left is a vital social-change project and aims to make all content available online, without paywalls. With no corporate sponsors or advertising, we rely on support and donations from readers like you.

For just $5 per month get the Green Left digital edition in your inbox each week. For $10 per month get the above and the print edition delivered to your door. You can also add a donation to your support by choosing the solidarity option of $20 per month.

Freecall now on 1800 634 206 or follow the support link below to make a secure supporter payment or donation online.