Argentine, Mexican, and Guatemala Photography.
Feminist, Queer, and Post-Masculinist Perspectives.
By David William Foster.
University Of Texas Press, Austin, 2014. 230 pp., 53 black & white illustrations, 6x9".
One of the important cultural responses to political and sociohistorical events in Latin America is a resurgence of urban photography, which typically blends high art and social documentary. But unlike other forms of cultural production in Latin America, photography has received relatively little sustained critical analysis. This pioneering book offers one of the first in-depth investigations of the complex and extensive history of gendered perspectives in Latin American photography through studies of works from Argentina, Mexico, and Guatemala.
David William Foster examines the work of photographers ranging from the internationally acclaimed artists Graciela Iturbide, Pedro Meyer, and Marcos López to significant photographers whose work is largely unknown to English-speaking audiences. He grounds his essays in four interlocking areas of research: the experience of human life in urban environments, the feminist matrix and gendered cultural production, Jewish cultural production, and the ideological principles of cultural works and the connections between the works and the sociopolitical and historical contexts in which they were created. Foster reveals how gender-marked photography has contributed to the discourse surrounding the project of redemocratization in Argentina and Guatemala, as well as how it has illuminated human rights abuses in both countries. He also traces photography's contributions to the evolution away from the masculinist-dominated post-1910 Revolution ideology in Mexico. This research convincingly demonstrates that Latin American photography merits the high level of respect that is routinely accorded to more canonical forms of cultural production.