Atronautas de Juarez

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: August 24-31, 2007

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Two girls on a field trip, Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico / June 2007

Two Juarez girls hamming it up at the NASA traveling exhibition that was shown at the Centro Municipal de las Artes in downtown Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico in May through June.

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PHOTO OF THE WEEK: August 17-24, 2007

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Soy Un Oso, Hugo in El Segundo / Feb. 2007

Hugo(last name not given) shows his high school “colors,” on Father Rahm Street on El Paso’s south side. It is twilight and he has been working on a mural at the Sagrado Corazon church’s gym.

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The FBA

Black Cross on the FBA, August 2007

Summer on the FBA. Hot. 100.

This is Father Rahm Street, which is, actually, Fifth Street. Around the corner is El Paso Street which is the first block of America (or the last, depending on where you’re coming from).

Around the corner, to the south is where the Paso del Norte bridge from Juarez empties out. There are stories on this street, big life-journeys begin here. This is where dreams begin. Some people have called this the “Ellis Island of South America.” Maybe that’s the draw for me (my Father was born on that other immigration island in 1907). That was another dream. These are places where dreams can start.

The Black Cross mural for the violence against women in Juarez appeared a couple of years ago. Then they put a bus stop in front of it (dumb). Then they took the bus stop out but painted over the text (also dumb) about the violence to the women.

Whatever. Life passes and passes strongly. This is where I have spent a lot of my life.

Nothing stops the energy on the FBA. People are looking for their place, their direction, their dream. I’m looking. I’m there almost every afternoon.

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PHOTO OF THE WEEK: August 10-17, 2007

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The First Street of America #7, El Paso, Texas / August 2007

 

Sixth and El Paso Street is the first street in “America,” after crossing over the Paso del Norte Bridge from Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico into El Paso, Texas. This is the crossroads.

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Lost Musician In Juarez

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: July 27-August 3, 2007

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Musico perdido en las ruinas de Juarez / July 2007

El Centro, the downtown of Juarez, is going down.

La Mariscal, the zone of shops and bars and (say this quietly) brothels north of El Centro, the commercial zone north of El Centro stretching to the border with the U.S., is being demolished and is, mostly, gone.

The “Plan,” has come. Progress is here. Now there is hope for those who need the border to be “clean.”

It shall be sanitized.

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Snatched In El Paso

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: July 6-13, 2007

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Snatched Mexican day laborer sits in the back of a Border Patrol van, El Paso 1999

Most “illegal immigrants,” incarcerated in El Paso are laborers who’s immigration activity is, merely, a two way commute, finding them returning to Juarez, Mexico, at the end of a work day. Being incarcerated by the Border Patrol inconveniences the worker but does not deter the activity. Wages in Juarez average around $5 to 6 day. In El Paso a Day Laborer makes an average of $ 25 to 40 a day. The difference in wages makes the bureaucratic discussion of deterrence moot.

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Pit Bull(s)

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: June 29-July 6, 2007

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Pit Bulls, Memorial Park, El Paso, Texas / May 2007

Carlos (last name not given) in Memorial Park with his Pit Bull Zues. They both had a lot of scars. They both are fighters, and it appeared they had more in common with each other than either could have with anyone of their own species.

Pit Bulls.

Asked why he liked that particular breed of dog, Carlos replied, “They don’t give an inch. Neither do I.”

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Definat, Wary And Proud

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: JUNE 22-29, 2007

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Defiant, wary and proud, Carmen the maquila woman, Juarez/2002

Carmen Sotelo Rodriquez is the face of the Post Global economy. She worked at a Phillips plant in Juarez,Chihuahua, Mexico. The plant had moved from three shifts to one shift and by 2002 the company had migrated most of its assembly operations to China. She is shown standing in front of the plant on the city’s south east side. This photo was shot on assignment for Bloomberg magazine.

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Viva Los Viejos

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: JUNE 15-22, 2007

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Dignified man at the crossroads , El Paso, Texas / 2007

A man stands in the last light of the day at the corner of 6th and El Paso Street in El Paso, Texas. This is the first street of the United States after entering the U.S. from Mexico from the Paso Del Norte International Bridge. The bridge links Ciudad Juarez with El Paso and 6th and El Paso streets could be considered the crossroads of the northern part of the Western Hemisphere from south to north.

A lot of old folks (viejos) grew up in this barrio and are still there. They are the dignity of the barrio.

Imagine how people felt when a picture of an old viejo was used, by City planners, to show what was wrong with El Paso?

Los Viejos are what’s right with El Segundo.

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Cool Sneaks And Artifacts That Matter

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Photograph of Dorothea Lange,

Resettlement Administration photographer,

in California, c. 1936

The car is a 1933 Ford Model B (AKA “V8”).

She is -as well as Russell Lee and the other FSA photographers- the spiritual “Godmother,” of this site.

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This is a picture of Dorothea Lange, at work. She was one of my earliest influences (the other was Weegee).

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