Thursday, 18 August 2011

Rodrigo Abd: The Mayan Queens

Photos © Rodrigo Abd_All Rights Reserved

Here's an interesting project undertaken by Rodrigo Abd, an Argentine photographer with AP currently based in Guatemala. He traveled to Coban to document the indigenous women competing to become this year’s National Indigenous Queen of Guatemala. The event was held during the Rabin Ajau National Folkloric Festival in Coban, Guatemala.

Abd used a 19th century style wooden box camera he had bought in Afghanistan, which required the women to hold still for up to two minutes as Abd exposed the images directly onto photo paper. The photo paper is plunged into the developer then into a fixer liquid inside the camera body. A negative image of his subjects appears. Later on, he photographed these negatives to produce the positive versions.

“It’s about having this connection with people I’m portraying because they have to be totally quiet and spend some time only with me, looking at me with my camera.”
This project certainly attracted the attention of the blogosphere, as it appeared on OregonLive.com (much larger photographs) of The Oregonian, and in The Guardian.

The same process was documented by Frances Schwabenland in her The Photographer of Jaipur.