Subcommander Marcos (Rafael Sebastian Guillén Vicente)
[Professor and revolutionary, b. 1957, Tampico, Mexico, lives in Chiapas, Mexico.]
For me it is clear that photography prizes should be for those being photographed and not for the photographers.
... the photographer is a thief who chooses what he steals (which, at this stage of the crisis, is a luxury) and does not “democratize” the image, that is to say, the photographer selects the pictures, a privilege which ought to be granted to the person being photographed.
Every time the diaphragm winks, the camera repeats the question that now travels through cyberspace and invades, as a modern virus, the memories of machines, men and women. The question that history sets forth. The question which forces us to define ourselves and whose answer makes us human: On which side are you?
Question the images. Take them by the hand and don’t let the sweet distancing they offer you vanquish you; do away with the distance’s comfort or the soft indifference you derive from concentrating on the quality of the framing, the use of light and shadows, the successful composition. Force these images to bring you to the Mexican Southeast, to history, to the struggle, to this taking sides, to choose a faction.
The photographer discovers himself/herself being photographed and we can guess he is uncomfortable. Unsuccessfully he/she tries to recompose his posture and to look like a photographer taking photos. But no, he is and continues to be a spectator. The momentous fact of being photographed leads him to becoming an actor. And, as always, actors must assume a role, which is only an elegant way of avoiding to say they must choose sides, choose a faction, take an option.