Last updateMon, 13 Jul 2015 11am
Unique Consignment

Fight to protect Nixticuil Forest explored in ‘ethnographic’ photo exhibit

A new photographic exhibit in Guadalajara showcases the struggle of activists, biologists, botanists, anthropologists – and especially ordinary people in the community – to defend and conserve the remains of a great forest which once stretched from Tesistan to the Huentitan Canyon.

The “ethnographic” photographs of the  Nixticuil Forest attempt to “sensitize people to distinct practices of exploitation in the biocultural corridor running from El Salto all the way to the Tequila Volcano, as well as practices of sustainability realized by a variety of organizations in the area,” note exhibit organizers, Jose de Jesus Hernsndez and Susan Street.

Says Street: “Many city folks are unaware of the degree of ‘environmental degradation’ affecting our woods and rivers, and likewise, these people feel unaffected by the tremendous efforts inhabitants and social activists put forth to stop encroachments, for example to put out fires intentionally started to clear land for suburban development, and to denounce and keep records of these things.”

“Nixticuil-Santiago-Barranca Forests and Community: Exploitation or Conviviality?” features more than 40 photographs taken by Zapopan photographer Victor Ibarra.  The exhibit will be mounted at the Social Anthropology Research Center (CIESAS) office (España 1359, between Federalismo and Rayon, Colonia Moderna) until August 22.

The Nixticuil Forest was designated a Federal Protected Area in 2006, after much pressure by concerned community groups. Nevertheless, conflicts continue between conservationists and developers who would like to expand suburban Guadalajara’s urban sprawl northwards.

The photographs in the exhibit were taken during recorridos pedagogicos (pedagogical excursions), organized to create intensely interactive dynamics among interested people, explains Street, a Milwaukee, Wisconsin native who has been directing or working at CIESAS for nearly 25 years.

“Since we humans are part of nature, the interesting things to record, ethnographically, are the relationships and connections between us living beings,” she says. 

Please login or subscribe to view the complete article.