Iturbide, Graciela (1942–)

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Iturbide, Graciela (1942–)

Using black and white film as her medium of choice, the Mexican photographer Graciela Iturbide captures images that interpret the daily affairs and rituals of indigenous peoples and the lives of women throughout Mexico. Born in Mexico City on May 16, 1942, Iturbide initially studied filmmaking at the Center for Cinematographic studies of the National Autonomous University from 1969 to 1972 and later trained under Mexican photographer Manuel Álvarez Bravo. Her most renowned body of work, executed in the late 1970s, centers on the matriarchal culture of the Zapotecs of Juchitán, a town near the Isthmus of Tehuantepec on Mexico's southern Pacific coast in the state of Oaxaca.

Among other projects, Iturbide has documented the singular manner in which the Mexican people approach death, and, in East Los Angeles, California, the daily lives of cholos, young Mexican American street gang members. Her recent works include subjects from India and Argentina, as well as the southwestern United States. Although her images are photojournalistic, they are characterized by a level of intimacy and candor not necessarily associated with the documentary tradition. Exhibitions of her work have been mounted internationally, and her photographs are included in the permanent collections of many major museums. Iturbide lives and works in Coyoacán, Mexico.

See alsoÁlvarez Bravo, Manuel; Photography: 1900–1990; Zapotecs.


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Iturbide, Graciela. "Mexican Street Gangs of Los Angeles and Tijuana." In Desires and Disguises: Five Latin American Photographers, ed. and trans. Amanda Hopkinson. New York: Serpent's Tail, 1992.

Iturbide, Graciela. Images of the Spirit. New York: Aperture, 1996.

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Iturbide, Graciela. Eyes to Fly With. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2006.

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Snow, K. Mitchell. "Lens of Ritual and Revelation." Américas 51, no. 1 (January-February 1999): 22-29.

                                        Charlene van Dijk

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Iturbide, Graciela (1942–)

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