2020 / People / Family

Mexico Revisitedthe First Time I Travled

  • Company
    Sylvia de Swaan Photography
  • Photographer
    Sylvia De Swaan

The first time I went to this ranch was with my soon to be husband, in 1963. Heavy rains had turned the roads into a sea of mud and it took over 8 hours to traverse the last 30 kilometers by taxi, on horseback and on foot. Stepping into that world I felt as though I’d arrived at the realm of “magic realism,” long before that phrase was coined. Mesmerizing tales and legends told by my soon to be sister-in-law dated back to the times of the Mexican revolution and before. She had trunks of old photographs and documentation tracing her lineage both to the Aztec and Colonizing Spaniards.

I'm a fine art and documentary photographer who has lived and worked in Mexico, Europe and the United States. I work on several long term projects concurrently that explore themes of memory, identity, the state of the world and the places where I live. I have traveled extensively in Eastern Europe. In 2006 and 2008 I was invited to participate in international conference and exhibition titled "IN TRANSITION: Cultural Identities in the Age of Transnational and Transcultural Flux" about refugee displacement. The first took place in Limassol, Cyprus, the second in Ekaterinburg, Russia.