“It is very important that we indigenous people take photographs of our own cultures so that other indigenous people in Mexico and other countries know us. In this way we can preserve and show our traditional cultures and share them, so that future generations can learn and remember.”
Maruch Sántiz Gómez
The Chiapas Photography Project (CPP) provides indigenous Maya people in Chiapas, Mexico with opportunities for cultural and artistic self-expression through photography. Since 1992, over 300 indigenous men and women from different ethnic groups and religious backgrounds have learned how to use photography as a mode of personal artistic expression, and many have undertaken projects that celebrate and engage members of their communities.
CPP is based in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, the commercial and cultural center of the Chiapas Highlands. The Project’s activities are both local and global in scope. CPP photographers have exhibited their work in their own towns, as well as in museums, galleries, and alternative spaces throughout the world. CPP also provides educational workshops and presentations, which educate diverse audiences about how the Project uses photography as a means to share and celebrate indigenous cultures.
The Chiapas Photography Project has gained recognition from the Mexican, American, and international press, the academic community, and the art world. As CPP has gained a global presence, it has provided opportunities for volunteers and professional photographers from around the world to work with indigenous photographers.
CPP adapts to the always-evolving photography environment, incorporating new technology, while respecting the varied conditions and preferences of those who participate in activities.