ZAICKZ STUDIO, Zaickz Moz (Francisco Mosqueda), State of Mexico (2020) - The Periferia project is focused on highlighting the importance of the locations located on the limits of Mexico City, for its full understanding. The complex and inevitable relationship between these locations and the Metropolis is normally assumed from a distance, ignorance or plain assumption: Ecatepec is dangerous and violent. It is home to femicides, aspiring poets, artists, and thieves, all together, becoming a simplistic reduction of everything that cannot exist in Mexico City. Fortunately, an image is worth a thousand words, and they also have good photographers: wandering, staying and observing in the same place, allows us to look beyond the letters and numbers in the headings to begin to distinguish the faces, the family ties and the conformation of a very particular urban environment, where communities are formed from differences, and are maintained through the distance and continuous movement of their migrants, who come and go every day to verify that Ecatepec, is still there for them.
"The everyday of our life is the market, the square, the party salons, the church, the courts".
"I move around in a cab, I don't get on a bus anymore. I have suffered many assaults, and in the last few years they were even physical aggressions".
"Ecatepec is the worst thing for people. I hear it. You walk around: "I don't know why you brought me here? Here they kill for free". And truth be told, it is dangerous."
"Before when we were kids there was more unity with the neighbors.
"Before, I had to take many transports to go home".
"Here the thieves already identify you. They kill you, don't they? But they already identify you."
"Even in the best neighborhoods there is insecurity".
"I have an attachment to my neighborhood".
"As in everything there are beautiful and ugly places, there are parts where you can go and there are others where you don't."
"El transporte es muy caro".
"The houses here are built little by little".
"I like living here, here you find everything. I feel identified with my neighborhood".
"Before there was nothing, it was desolated, no lighting, everything was unpopulated".
"Before, it was all about walking."
"A neighbor has already had several scares from shoplifters".
"My grandson is afraid, he says he'd better go live in the District".
"They judge the municipality without knowing it. It's just a bad reputation, at least I feel comfortable walking down the street".
"I've lost the fear of walking at night, I'm not afraid anymore".
"I have confidence in all my neighbors. And they are all my neighbors. And I talk to them all."
"I have confidence in my neighbors.
LEARN MORE ABOUT PERIFERIA
We asked Zaickz Moz about Periferia and the importance of representing the territory and personal experiences through photography.
Collaborators of the first stage of the project
Texts and research:
ZAICKZ MOZ (FRANCISCO MOSQUEDA)
Originally from the State of Mexico, Zaickz Moz, director of Zaickz Studio -like so many thousands of people around the city- has spent long hours of his life. However, unlike most, Zaickz assumed the road as the space to get out of himself and get lost in the prints outside. Little by little, the impulse of his career as a photographer released him towards interests that at times he thought were everyday but that hid the depth of a documentary vocation, which reconnected him with the subject that has most fascinated him until now: the city.
Starting with photographs that looked beyond the surfaces, his lens remained on the construction but the focus began to be more on the human aspect. Suddenly, the kilometers of thought traveled over the years began to be expressed in series that narrated life situations and reflected on the conditions of inhabited spaces.
What is the origin of the project?
Periferia was born from a first photographic exercise carried out in the municipality of Ecatepec de Morelos, after a year of research, interviews and photographic documentation. Soy de Azteca (the name under which the project began) was exhibited for the first time at ATEA, an art and cultural space in the La Merced neighborhood.
Why should we talk about limits and places through photography?
Today, everyone - inhabitants and non-dwellers of Mexico City - knows about the monstrous dimension of the capital. However, who can say where it begins and where it ends?
Arístoles said that - "city" is a moral concept, not geographical or demographic, city is defined by its purpose and not by the number of inhabitants, every territorial extension is called "city"-.
So photography speaks of a whole.
What is Periferia?
Periferia is a project that, through photography, seeks to highlight the elements of identity and the expressions of community of the inhabitants in the areas commonly referred to as peripheral.
Within the photographic narrative there are themes that range from the anthropological to the urban architectural:
- Social, cultural and economic dynamics
- Appropriation of public and private spaces
- Expressions of identity and community
- Housing and infrastructure
- Urban densities and boundaries
How were the themes of the presented photo essays chosen?
Opening a dialogue on the importance of each of the municipalities in the metropolitan periphery of Mexico City, drawing attention to their own characteristics and expressions and highlighting the cultural, economic and social impact they generate, was complex to capture in a single photo or in a single series. That is why the project is divided into 4 axes:
Aerial notes, Typology, The neighborhood and Life stories. In the first one, the conditions and the urban outline in which it has been developed are fully observed; in the second one, the facades of the houses are approached, on which the history of growth of the families and the type of relation that is established with the neighbors can be read. The neighborhood captures emblematic places that, for its inhabitants, capture the local essence. Finally, in Life Stories, the photographs portray the faces and spaces of those who daily make the "periphery" their center.
How does your practice relate to architecture, and where do you see its impact on the future of the discipline?
The complex relationship between these cities and the metropolis has motivated the development of the project. Talking about the city and documenting the city is talking about personal experiences and being the voice of the people behind the portraits that have transformed and lived the city according to their reality and need. The project is developed in the bowels of the city to try to understand how a community in the periphery works and the impact it has socially, economically and culturally outside this socio-demographic division.
The project seeks to reach more than 20 municipalities adjacent to Mexico City with the intention of replicating the same scheme for the development of a printed compendium on the topics mentioned above. The doors are open to anyone who seeks to add and contribute to the development of the project.
For today's political boundaries do not mark borders; because each colony is its own nucleus and because it is the engine of the city, we bring the periphery to the center and open the dialogue.