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LensCulture Visual Storytelling Documentary Entry

Individual photo entries for the Visual Storytelling and Documentary photography awards from LensCulture.

March for Our Lives Olympia

School is where children should be concerned with becoming educated, conscious individuals, rather than fearing for their lives. Yet the horror of a school shooting has become an almost regular occurrence in the United States. In March of 2018, students, teachers, parents and supporters across the nation marched in solidarity with survivors who have made a call to action for change. Currently, federal and state laws favor the right to own an assault rifle over a child's right to safety in the classroom.

Olympia, Washington, United States March 2018

View of San Jacinto Amilpas

As the city of Oaxaca becomes more populated by tourists and foreigners, locals have been pushed further and further outside the city center. The city has expanded to surrounding hills were land was sold off cheap, but basic infrastructure like paved roads doesn't yet exist in these areas, and the bus ride into town is long and full of potholes. Most of the people who come to visit Oaxaca don't even know these colonias exist.

San Jacinto Amilpas, Oaxaca, México May 2018

Tierra y Libertad

A wood-carved Zapatista figure holding an ear of corn stands tall and strong, surrounded by hand-made paper flowers in the window of a trade school for indigenous youth on the outskirts of San Cristóbal de las Casas. The base of all Zapatista ideology is the belief that every human being has the right to cultivate and live off what Mother Nature provides, and the freedom to do so.

San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, México June 2018

En Camino Hacía los Caracoles

Caracol, meaning a spiraling shell like that of a snail, is the word the Zapatistas use to call the heart of their territories – where elected members of surrounding pueblos fulfill their cargo duties by participating in a system of self-governance. This image was captured on the way to visit one of the seven Zapatista caracoles, in a rural mountain town in Chiapas. Most of the rural pueblos in Chiapas are indigenous, and many of them consider themselves Zapatista.

Zapatista Territory, Chiapas, México June 2018

Everything Is as it Should Be

The week before the Guelaguetza, as more and more tourists begin to arrive, local authorities hire people to take down and paint over all the graffiti and political art in the city center in order to maintain the illusion of social content and security, so the tourists can continue to consume in peace. The Guelaguetza is one of the most important festivals for locals, in which they share and continue their traditions of food, dance and dress, but each year it becomes more geared toward entertaining outsiders with indigenous culture. The majority of people who come to see the spectacular are from México – people who want to reconnect to their "indigenous past", even though the cultures exhibited in the Guelaguetza are very much alive. Although indigenous culture has been exploited as the number one tourist attraction, indigenous voices in México are still highly repressed by the state. Indigenous artists have found a way to express their voices by putting up large works of political art, which are then covered up by authorities during popular tourist seasons, and the voices of the indigenous are silenced once more.

Oaxaca de Juárez, Oaxaca, México July 2018

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