Exhibit Opening: "Maya Healers: A Thousand Dreams"
Fran Antmann’s photographs, taken in Guatemala over a period from 2006 to 2017, evoke the life and culture of the indigenous communities that live along the shores of Lake Atitlán. The photographs speak to the close relationship of these communities with the natural and spiritual worlds. They record the daily lives of the Maya but also evoke their underlying world of mystical and religious experience -- the rituals that give continuity and permanence in a world of disposable culture. The work focuses on indigenous healers, many of whom are women believed to have connections with the supernatural. They use ancient Maya practices and derive their power and knowledge from dreams. These rituals survive despite the genocide of the Maya people perpetrated over several decades until 1996. The resurgence of Maya identity in the renewal of formerly suppressed Maya practices celebrates the endurance of indigenous cultures.
Fran Antmann is a photographer, writer and educator. She teaches photography at Baruch College, CUNY. Her photographic work has focused on the lives and culture of the indigenous people of Guatemala and Peru as well as the Dene people of the Western Canadian Arctic and the Inuit of Baffin Island, Canada. She has received grants from the Ford and J. Paul Getty Foundations, the Puffin Foundation, the Social Science Research Council and five NY State Foundation for the Arts fellowships in Photography and Non-Fiction Literature. For over a decade she worked on Maya Healers: A Thousand Dreams with yearly trips to Guatemala. The book is a fiscally sponsored project of the New York Foundation for the Arts, a finalist for the 2017 Lucie Foundation Photo Book Prize and received Honorable Mention from PX3 Prix de la Photographie Paris Juried Awards 2018.
Presented by the Department of Women's Studies and IRWG with cosponsorship from the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, and the Latina/o Studies Program. The exhibit will remain on display until December 7.