Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Women of the Tianguis

I am still working on how to establish an comfortable moment with the women I am hoping to photograph. I am re-reading that sentence, and thinking about how arrogant it is of me to want to take pictures of other people. Especially woman who I know are uncomfortable with the idea. I know I enjoy seeing the photo of a face of one of the people of felt a connect with when the pictue was taken. I think you can see it in their eyes when they feel comfortable. Generally men are easy. They mostly seem to enjoy having their picture taken.

These are the photos taken at, or on the way home, from the tianguis this morning.
The woman was begging on the sidewalk. I offered her 20 pesos to take a picture. She wanted the money, and she couldn't bring herself to look at the camera. She did want a separate shot of her son, so I took three, and I showed them to her. She liked them and gestured to go ahead and take her picture, but she see closed her eyes at the last second. So I gave up. I ended up giving her all my change. She told me she was 40 years old. She looked about 22-23 up close. the little boy is two. I was carrying a bag with bananas, apples, and two melons, and I left them with her.

Yesterday evening I was walking home, near El Jardin, just before dark, and there were 5 different old, old looking women slumped against different walls, and alone and huddled under their clothes, just waiting. It was horrible. They weren't even looking up for help. They were just crumpled up in little huddles. I could hardly stand it. I gave them each 10 pesos, a buck, but what good will that do?
This is one of the vendors at the market. She and her sister were selling vegetables in separate booth right next to each other. Her sister had all her squashes piled in neat little piles, and her Nopali leaves in patterns. My photo of the Nopali didn't turn out, and the squashes don't show the nice patterns she made with them.
This women and her male companion, (husband, brother, son, cousin, lover?) were selling rabbits and 10 week old chickens. One of the rabbits was eating the cardboard box on the floor of his cage. Her male companion thought I should take a picture of her. When I asked her, she just shrugged, okay, but wouldn't look up. I am not going to take anymore photos of women unless they want me to. I don't know why I am so drawn to taking pictures of older women, like me.
I think this lady was moving her goods to her selling spot. She was moving so quickly I never got to talk to her and ask her about a picture.
This couple walked in front of me, and the man saw I was taking pictures, and he signalled me to take a photo of him and his wife. She was walking very faster ahead of us. When he caught up with her she yelled something at him, not noticing me with the camera, and I took the second picture of her from the front. She never saw me. He was laughing and waving good-bye as he ran to keep up with her.
This lady was a very serious shopper. I had run into her several times, and she ignored me. But she heard the men laughing about the "no ropa" joke, and came over to me. She was from a rancho on the way to Guanajuato and had 70pesos ($6USD or so) to spend. She was checking out every vegetable stand. And there were probably a hundred. We walked around together and she told me the names of things in Spanish. I called her my Maestra and paid for her onions. She said I could take a picture, but was too busy (or self-conscious) to look at the camera. This woman, and a man who appeared to be her husband, had a veggie stand . I assume this baby is their grandchild, or great-grandchild. She never took her eyes off him for a minute, and he looked at her steadily. I know about a program that supports young mom's with their young children. It's called "Circle of Security". One of the teaching tools is an incredible video showing two day old babies making eye contact and responding to the expressions and movements of their mothers. That's what this duo make me think off. Perfect peace and contentment. Her love for him and responsiveness, in that moment, filled the air around them. Of course, for all I know, she was selling babies, along with the vegetables. I don't think so.This woman was also responding to an infant. The baby was not happy and she was trying to calm him by rocking the chair he was settled in.

I think I will stop (trying to) take a picture of a woman unless the opportunity presents itself without me forcing it. I usually don't like seeing photographs of myself, so I should understand other people, especially women, not being thrilled with the idea. It's funny though. If I do make a connection and then the woman sees the LCD picture of themselves they always seem pleased. Oh well. I know I will stop kind of pushing the issue, and back off and see what happens.

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