with Magdalena Solé & Elizabeth Avedon
DAY OF THE DEAD PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP WITH MAGDALENA SOLÉ & ELIZABETH AVEDON.
Discover the art of social documentary and editing at the iconic Manuel Álvarez Bravo Photo Center in Oaxaca, Mexico
Please join us for a unique photographic workshop, which will cover major topics:
- Work on an individual Project with daily one-on-one sessions with Magdalena and Elizabeth
- Learn the art of editing and sequencing through lectures and demonstrations
- Learn how to create a photobook and prepare for an exhibit
- Photographing the mystical Day-of-the-Dead rituals with access to the most significant events
Our workshop is surrounded by the excitement of Mexico’s most revered festival, the Day of the Dead. The Day of the Dead is an indigenous tradition, celebrated every year from October 31st to November 2nd. The “Día de Muertos” is an original and photogenic cult known in the world for its grandiosity and mystery but at the same time, for its warmth and intimacy.
It is a life enriching experience to participate in the greatest of all Mexican rituals among a sea of candles, the smell of “Cempazuchil” (Marigold, the flower of the dead) and the stunning street dancers of the Etla valley. Graveyards, where people commune with the dead as well as altar’s in people’s houses will serve as exquisite backdrops to create amazing photographs.
ABOUT THE WORKSHOP
The 2016 edition of the Day of the Dead photo workshop in Oaxaca is a 9-day intensive for committed photographers of various levels.
Conducted by award-winning social documentary photographer Magdalena Solé and world renowned curator and book designer Elizabeth Avedon, this workshop will be a unique combination of one-on-one editing sessions with Magdalena and Elizabeth, shooting your own projects and participating in the Day of the Dead festivities, as well as evening lectures and group discussions in Mexico’s most beautiful city.
Photo Xpeditions has been producing workshops in Oaxaca for the past 8 years, initially for National Geographic Expeditions and then for our beloved Mary Ellen Mark. Continuing the tradition of Mary Ellen’s workshops, we offer individual assignments and access to places that are off the beaten track.
Below is a sampling of possible projects you might sign up for:
Candle Making Family
School for the Deaf
School for Down Syndrome children
Garbage Dump and the Families that live from collecting Trash
Charros (Mexican horseman)
House for the Elderly
Artisanal Mescal Maker
and many others
THE DAY OF THE DEAD FESTIVITIES
Celebrations, and processions will be present through the entire length of our workshop, however they will reach their peak during the days of October 31 and November 1st, at which times we planned activities that will immerse us in the experience of commemorating the dead.
We will visit graveyards flooded in candlelight where families spend the night with the departed ones eating, drinking, and sometimes the graves are also illuminated by a battery powered TV when a soccer game is shared with the dead.
From October 26th-31st, 2016
PERSONAL PROJECTS + LEARNING THE ART OF EDITING AND SEQUENCING
On the evening of October 26th gather at a local restaurant for a welcome dinner where all participants will have the opportunity to meet each other as well as your instructors, Magdalena Solé and Elizabeth Avedon.
The next morning, the workshop will begin with a presentation followed by group portfolio review session where the instructors will be able to identify the strengths and weaknesses of each photographer, and discuss the week’s objectives and projects.
The workshop will be a special combination of one-on-one critiques with Elizabeth and Magdalena, shooting your own projects, photographing the Day of the Dead festivities, evening lectures, and group discussions at the beautiful “Manuel Álvarez Bravo Museum”.
Be prepared to work hard, get little sleep, and we guarantee that your leave Oaxaca a much stronger photographer.
The Day of the Dead celebrations begin. The afternoon is filled with “Comparsas” lively street parades for the dead, where people dress in elaborate costumes and dance to the rhythms of the bands.
At night we will visit a small and picturesque cemetery, a magical place flooded with the light of thousands of candles, and marigold flowers adorn the graves. Entire families sit by the graves to mourn their departed ones as they await to commune with their spirits.
Very early this morning, we depart to a mountaintop cemetery to witness how the elaborately decorated graveyards and their sea of candles mix with the first rays of the early morning light. This is a one-of-a-kind mystical experience that never ceases to amaze everyone. That night we go to a nearby village to experience one of the most impressive, colorful and vibrant “Comparsas” yet.
Today we will hold our final group edit and critique session. Spend the morning looking at the best images of each student as we select the final images and create a sequence for a live exhibit at the Alvarez Bravo Photographic Museum, which will be open to the general public throughout the day and evening.
Our group will meet for a farewell dinner at “Los Danzantes”.
WHO SHOULD ATTEND?
This class is for photographers of intermediate to advanced levels. Applications, if sent separate from the registration, are due no later then 45 days prior to beginning of workshop. Notification of acceptance will be made within 48 hours of registration.
Attendees should bring their portfolio to the class for review. Work prints are preferred over digital. Each student is responsible for bringing their own camera and equipment, including a laptop for digital shooters.
Film shooters must bring their own film and paper (for developing) since film is difficult and expensive to purchase in Oaxaca. Please contact us prior to the workshop, if you plan to shoot analogue.
DATES & LOCATION
The workshop starts at 6 pm, the evening of Wednesday, October 26th and ends in the evening of Wednesday, November 2nd. You should plan to depart the morning of November 3rd. Oaxaca, Mexico is served by Aeromexico and Continental Airlines, among other local airlines like Viva Aerobus. Connection through Mexico City, Cancun, Houston, or Atlanta is usually required.
This has been an extraordinary and wonderful photographic experience for me--far surpassing my expectations. I am a better, more confident, and more thoughtful photographer as a direct result of this workshop.
Jim Grover, 2013
Never seen anyone working so hard, having so much fun with what they are doing and making it look effortless, being so passionate about it and going the extra mile at every possibility. You guys put your heart and soul into this week and made every minute wothwhile!! You guys were open to any question -doesn't matter whether it pertained to changing the schedule, giving advice on photography.
What a fantastic experience. Loved it! Never experience a team so committed, working so hard, sharing enthusiasm, experience, thinking ahead, making it look effort less, making sure everything is running smoothly, accomnodating, joyfull, pasionate.
Anja Bruehling, 2012
- $2,795USD Tuition Only
- Mexican residents fee is $2,295 USD.
- ACCOMMODATION (8 nights):
We have blocked rooms in some of the hotels mentioned below. Please make reservations directly with them. Be sure to mention you are part of the class.
- INCLUDES: Photographic instruction by Magdalena Solé & Elizabeth Avedon and transportation to Day of the Dead scouted locations for photo shooting on Oct 31st and Nov 1st. Does not include accommodations, air transportation, purchases of personal nature or anything not specifically indicated in the itinerary.
Both hotels are excellent options and are located in downtown Oaxaca. The Marques del Valle is right at the zocalo and can be a little bit noisy during this time of the year. If you want something smaller, with very personalized attention, and quiet, Hotel Boutique de la Parra is a better option.