what is and what remains

Upon arriving in Mexico, I was faced with the challenge of understanding and photographically representing a culture that I had little background knowledge of. I hardly have a good grasp on American history, let alone one on our neighboring country. Nevertheless, as an individual I am always thinking of the effects of consumerism on our twenty-first century global economy.

Every culture has different social classes that can easily be differentiated by those who excessively buy goods and those who sell goods in order to make a living. The obvious consequence to a global market saturated with goods to buy and sell is the enormous amount of things that get discarded and thrown away in the trash. When I was faced with the challenge of what to photograph in Mexico, I found myself focusing on the shapes of debris juxtaposed with the unique architecture of the cobblestone roads and antique buildings.

Focusing on debris that has been left behind by those who consume, I came to the realization that all cultures have similarities when it comes to commercialization and consumerism. Everyone in the world, no matter if the civilization is “developing” or “developed” consumes products and then discards of them when they are of no more use. The pictures that I chose for my final edit focus on 3 different aspects of this consumerism. The stores where buying and selling occurs, the people who work to gather the discarded materials and take them to a centralized place, and the products themselves, discarded on the streets, awaiting to be gathered by trash companies. 

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