City of Situations
. That should be enough to describe Mexico City. As a stranger and newcomer to this fabulous city, I constantly find myself being amazed by its complexity, diversity, and its urban character. Mexico City is unique.
In the attempt of staying true to the essence of the exercise I did not make a plan to conduct it. Instead, I decided to continue with my everyday routine and get surprised by the eventfulness of the city. So I did, and as I got off work I had the opportunity to attend the screening of a documentary called “Abuelo Banda” at a local bar. Sidenote on the venue: its architecture takes you on a trip to the 19th century while you are drinking “pulque” or beers and there is a guy playing the sax on the ground floor while we are watching a film on the rock scene in Mexico City on the 70s and 80s.
What I tried to express with the images above are three different moments of the film in which I found “situations” that by just watching them tell you the story of the place. The close-knit community of Neza, its resilient capacity after the earthquake and how they manage to organize the biggest “fiesta” for their people and just enjoy life. The way women help each other to make this celebration the year’s best, and the excitement of all the participants makes you want to experience it. “Neza belongs to all of us, and we belong to Neza” they said.
Media is a powerful tool to take us to places and territories we are not familiar with, it is vital to understand its socio-spatial dynamics and how people connect with each other and with the urban space.
When it comes to Mexico City what I find most exciting is the individual expressions of identity that can be found in every single street, and that collectively build the identity of the city. The non-formal food stalls, people running around to make their way to the metro, the noise, the altars, the self-built, the chaos, to mention a few, tells you the story of a fascinating city that keeps evolving. More importantly, they are testament to the people that work their hardest every day to make a better way of living.