At the request of NewMexicoWomen.org, on Saturday I photographed the 8th Annual Dona Predicanda Perea Encuentro de Medicina Traditional at the Westside Community Center in the South Valley of Albuquerque. The daylong event was co-sponsored by Kalpulli Izkalli and unOccupy Albuquerque: Medicine for the People. Kalpulli performed a healing ritual for about 100 people and a blessing for the elders to start the day off, and there followed free, traditional healing treatments, food and music.
After a hiatus of several years—since the early to mid-2000s, when I collaborated with William deBuys on Valles Caldera: A Vision for New Mexico’s National Preserve—yesterday I ventured out to so some photography in the Valles Caldera again. I was hoping to find some of that magical light that so often fills the sky-bowl of the Valle Grande, and I wasn’t disappointed. In spite of the fact that many of the mountains burned severely in the Las Conchas fire, the preserve is resplendent as ever. With a background sound of bull elk bugling, I walked into the great grassland and stayed, mesmerized, until sunset.
I just returned a two-week trip to Peru, which included a 42-mile trek to Machu Picchu on the Salkantay trail. It was a spectacular experience, spanning a range of environments, from a 15,200-foot pass (with 20k peaks to both sides) down into a cloud forest at 6,000 feet. We also visited some small villages and an astounding assortment of Inca ruins. I’ve posted a new gallery (http://donusner.com/peru-2016 )with some of the photos from the trip, but I must return. It’s a place worth visiting many times.
I was fortunate to be present at the Lannan reading last Wednesday, and to make photographs of the event—as I’ve been doing for the Lannan Foundation for 17 years now. Santa Fe is fortunate to have this ongoing series right here in town, but the events are podcast at Lannan.org, available to all. This one was particularly powerful, featuring Kenanga-Yamahtta Taylor with Donna Murch. The duo lit up the audience with a powerful discussion on matters of race in America. Taylor, an assistant professor at Princeton University and a recipient of a Lannan Residency Fellowship, spoke about the Black liberation movement and the current and historical struggles of African Americans against police violence and for equal rights. Her talk was followed by a talk with Donna Murch, author of Living for the City: Migration, Education, and the Rise of the Black Panther Party in Oakland. Afterwards, Taylor signed her new book, BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation, just out from Haymarket Books, while Murch also signed copies of her book. It’s an event worth listening to, available at lannan.org.
I came across this image of Jesus peering through fallen leaves on the hood of an abandoned lowrider painted by LowLow Medina in Chimayó. It’s sad to see the lowrider fading away, but amazing to see the image as it remains…
I’ve been back from Patagonia for two weeks, and I’m just getting through the first edit of my photos. These include street shots from Santiago, Valparaiso, and Punta Arenas, as well as landscape/nature photos from Parque Nacional Torres del Paine, Parque Nacional Bernardo O’Higgins; and Parque Nacionál Los Glaciares in Aregntina, including Perrito Moreno glacier and the Mount Fitz Roy area. These are fabulous places, in the literal sense—places of fable, of legendary climbs and exploration at the southern tip of the Americas.
Santa Fe University of Art and Design sent me down to teach a digital photography workshop at the Universidad del Valle de Mexico in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. This sprawling, industrial city in northwest Mexico has a deep history. I was drawn to the old part of town and took my students there to take pictures. We also made a field trip to Ures, about an hour and a half away.