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La Canoa: John Mraz “The Braceros Program and the Hermanos Mayo”

May 18, 2019

2 pm

Please join us as Dr. Mraz examines the Hermanos Mayo, Spanish-Mexican photojournalists whose images of the braceros make up the current NHCC exhibit, Braceros: Photographed by the Hermanos Mayo. The photojournalist collective knew what it meant to emigrate, as their story began during one of the modern world’s great conflagrations: the Spanish Civil War. With the defeat of the Republic in 1939, the Mayo came to Mexico where they worked for more than 40 periodicals, creating an enormous archive of some five million negatives. The Hermanos Mayo’s photographs of the braceros are important for what they show us about these migratory workers and what they tell us about the perspectives of these graphic reporters. It is important to applaud the artfulness of the Mayo collective while recognizing that particular social realities had to exist before they could be reproduced in photographs. As Julio Mayo said, “Photography has its creative part, but within reality.”

John Mraz is Research Professor at the Instituto de Ciencias Sociales y Humanidades, Universidad Autónoma de Puebla (Mexico) and National Researcher III. He has published more than 200 articles, book chapters, and essays in Europe, Latin America, and the United States on the uses of photography, cinema, and video in recounting history. Among his books are Photographing the Mexican Revolution; Looking for Mexico: Modern Visual Culture and National Identity; Nacho López, Mexican Photographer, and Uprooted: Braceros in the Hermanos Mayo Lens. He has directed award-winning documentaries, and curated many international photographic exhibits.

And don’t forget to stop in the History and Literary Arts building to see the Braceros exhibit photographed by The Hermanos Mayo.

This event is free and open to the public

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