Vanishing culture

Pictured left: “Lacandon boy with arms crossed, 1981

Don’t miss the opportunity to see photographs that depict an ancestral way of life that is disappearing. The Glendon Gallery is presenting an exhibit by V. Tony Hauser called “Indigenous People”, which includes the platinum portfolioLos Lacandones: Portraits of the Last ‘True People’”.

Hauser’s photographs give a unique insight into the effects of globalization on the ancestral way of life of an indigenous group from Chiapas, Mexico, the Lacandon-Mayans. This small group of indigenous people was living on the periphery of dramatic change when Hauser photographed them on three separate occasions in the early 1980s. The Lacandones call themselves the “true people”. They have retained their distinct culture late into the twentieth century but, like many other native civilizations, are struggling to resist the pressures of outside influences.

His message is reflected in Hauser’s choice of a documentary tradition that also seems to be disappearing under the weight of this same globalization. Are we in fact seeing the last “true photographs”?

The official opening of the exhibit is Oct. 24, 6 – 8pm – the start of a week-long annual Festival of Images and Words by the CCIE (Celebración Cultural del Idioma Espanol). His photographs are part of this year’s theme, “Festival of Words and Images 1992-2002. Ten Years Later: The Artistic Presence of the Hispanic World in Canada”. CCIE Opening remarks will be given by Spanish writer Rosa Montero.

V. Tony Hauser is a Canadian photographer with thirty years of experience, best known for his black and white portraits and platinum prints. Throughout his career, Hauser has photographed indigenous peoples from Ecuador, Mexico and the Canadian Arctic. In 1990, he won first prize in the international photography competition, “Emancipation and Identity of Latin America: Dignity of Native Peoples”.

For more information this and other events at the Glendon Gallery, check the Web site:www.glendon.yorku.ca/gallery.