Students Mercy Rocisely Bocel Ajcalon and Keila Vanessa Cortez Coroton learn Street Art from Anna Miller.
One quiet Sunday morning, Mayan Families mounted a photo exhibit — on a street corner. Large format black and white portraits of indigenous women were precisely pasted over a sun dappled wall, on a busy corner in Panajachel. Besides being beautiful, the block long installation covered splotches of random graffiti with elegance. And, the public space was made so attractive by the stately portraits that passers-by (even children) stopped to admire the work and watch as the sign pasting progressed. Elizabeth Hagee of Mayan Families explained that this was a six weeks long collaboration between Mayan Families and Anna Miller of Las Fotos Proyect Ms. Miller conducted a series of photo workshops for several women and this place would be the show’s official “opening.” The instructor carefully rolled wheat paste on to the wall and told her students to line up with the taut vertical string stretched between two tacks. As the students set about covering some of the most offensive marks on the wall, Ms. Miller told us that plotter paper was much cheaper than white paint.
The whole group would end up elbow deep in the glue but the wall would look very neat; pages of blank paper were placed between the images as spacers.
The project is as beautiful as it is integrative. The San Jorge photographers were invited to pose some of the local senior citizens that Mayan Families serves in their community. As a result, the subjects were honored and the photography class was rewarded with these epic exposures.