Linking Latin America

Photo Essay

by | Dec 19, 1999

AS A PHOTOJOURNALIST FOR THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS, I HAVE captured images of such seemingly disparate subjects as Mennonite immigrants to Mexico, Latina contestants for Selena standings, the Pope in Cuba, and traditional Sunday serenatas. Sometimes, I feel that my camera is the only unifying theme among the graphics. That is a fleeting feeling. The camera is my eye, and my eye, as a Latina woman, sees my subjects in relation to Latin America. The cam- era is a piece of technology, but it is my eye that links my subjects through my viewpoint and through my craft. In the same way, the Internet links us all. It is technology, but we are the ones who face the challenge of using it to bring us closer together in an imaginative and productive way. A fellow photojournalist who spent the last three years working in Texas, covering Latino issues for a Mexican newspaper, regularly e-mailed her photo assignments across the borders. In November, I met an Argentine photojournalist passing through Cambridge on business. We found we had a lot in common, and exchanged e-mail addresses.

Today, with the keyboard on my computer and a telephone line, I can instantly send her my thoughts. It’s less expensive than calling her, and the speed has no comparison at all with postal services. In a matter of seconds I can send her a photo and ask her opinion of it. Reporters everywhere are using the Internet to do research for the stories they write. On a broader scale, a person in any country can, with a few keystrokes, log onto any newspaper in the world that is online, whether it’s in the United States, Brazil or Argentina. In a few years, could the people in these photos be linked by more than the common bond of living in a Latin American country, or of being of Latin American descent? I think so. The possibility for Latinos around the world to be a more cohesive group through the Internet is an exciting concept.

 

Winter 1999

 

Beatriz Terrazas is a 12-year-veteran photojournalist who works for the Dallas Morning News. She is currently living in Cambridge while completing the Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University,

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