He’s dead and she’s half naked. Two images I encounter at every newspaper stand in Mexico City– blood and babes. A magazine cover shows a marijuana leaf and a stiletto heel in the shape of a gun. One newspaper regularly divides its front page with a preening bikini clad woman and cadavers. The graphicness of the individual images is enhanced when harmonized.
I whipped out a video camera and asked a few questions.
Sex and violence in the media isn’t new; but in the case of Mexico, fantasy is built on painfully real violence. Newspaper vendor, Victor Luna, tells me the pairing is meant to catch readers with a double barrel shot- the violence of “daily life” and sex, for a touch of ‘glamour.’ One, the sex or the violence is sure to hit.
Michelle García, a border-crossing Mex-American journalist, deconstructs the daily press orgy of “sex and violence.” It is a visual force that diminishes the real victimization of women as well as their often genuinely heroic responses,” as summarized by Froylan Enciso, co-curator with Paul Gootenberg.
I highly recommend visiting the site and reviewing the incredible reports by including gems by Howard Campbell and Elaine Carey. I especially enjoyed Natalia Mendoza Rockwell’s piece Boots, Belt Buckles and Sombreros:Narco-Culture in the Altar Desert. Many thanks to both Froy and Paul for inviting me to be part of the issue.