Juarez: The Laboratory of Our Time challenges the propaganda and the realities of the current relationship between the United States and Mexico, focusing on the more intimate connection between the border towns of El Paso and Juarez. Charles Bowden, who first brought attention to the story of the Juarez photographers in Harper's (December 1996), has written an uncompromising, piercing work that combines insightful and informed reporting with a poetic and wry style. His powerful text, integrated with brutal and revealing images by a group of unknown Mexican street photographers, takes on issues of NAFTA, immigration, gangs, corruption, drug trafficking, and poverty, uncovering a very different Mexico than generally depicted in the press and by the United States and Mexican governments.
Conditions in the impoverished colonias (urban settlements), work on maquiladora (foreign-owned factory) assembly lines, arrests and victims resulting from drug and gang violence, the hardships for women and children-- in short, everyday life in Juarez-- are all depicted here with an urgency and passion that could only grow from pure desperation. This group of guerrilla photographers, most of whom work for one of the daily newspapers in Juarez, earning the equivalent of only $50 to $100 per week (although the cost of living in Juarez is nearly that of El Paso), risk their lives daily with the photographs they take, alienating themselves from the local governments in both Juarez and El Paso, the police, the drug traffickers, and the gangs.
It is all too easy for the American media (and, consequently, the American public) to ignore the plight of the almost two million residents of a city seemingly so distant and foreign, yet the brutal irony is that many of these people-- our not-so-distant neighbors-- suffer directly from the effects of our "progress." Many Mexicans continue to work in subhuman conditions, with little hope of lifting themselves out of grinding poverty.
While Charles Bowden presents a riveting investigation of Juarez, its inhabitants, and its visual chroniclers, the renowned activist and writer Noam Chomsky offers in his introduction a bitingly critical account of NAFTA, suggesting its nullifying effect on democracy and the rights of both workers and consumers, and its underlying strategy for protecting the rich and powerful, and keeping everyone else in his or her place. In his afterword, the Uruguayan author Eduardo Galeano poses the question: Should the Third World really aspire to be more like the First World? His insider's look at contemporary North/South American relations reveals how the relationship between Juarez and El Paso can serve as a metaphor for U.S.-Latin American relations, and demonstrates the devastating toll United States policy and attitude knowingly take on human rights and the environment south of our border.
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Charles Bowden is the author of fourteen books including Blood Orchid: An Unnatural History of America; Desierto: Memories of the Future; Red Line; Blue Desert; and (with Michael Binstein) Trust Me: Charles Keating and the Missing Billions. He is contributing editor of Esquire, and also writes for other magazines such as Harper's and The New York Times Book Review, as well as for newspapers. Recently he won the Lannan Award and the Sidney Hillman Award. He lives in Tucson, Arizona, and is currently at work on a new book entitled, A Borderline Case.
Noam Chomsky has written and lectured widely on linguistics, philosophy, intellectual history, contemporary issues, international affairs, and U.S. foreign policy. His works include: Language and Mind; The Political Economy of Human Rights, Vols. I and II (with E.S. Herman); Rules and Representations; On Power and Ideology; Language and Problems of Knowledge; The Culture of Terrorism; Manufacturing Consent (with E.S. Herman); Necessary Illusions; and Reflection on Propaganda. He has been a professor in the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy at MIT for more than forty years.
Eduardo Galeano is the author of the trilogy Memory of Fire-- Genesis; Faces and Masks; and Century of the Wind-- as well as Open Veins of Latin America; The Book of Embraces; and, most recently, Soccer in Sun and Shadow (Verso). His books have been translated into eighteen languages. He lives in Montevideo, Uruguay, where he was born.
"A pattern [is] unfolding just across America's southwest border; the disappearance of scores, perhaps hundreds, of people at the hands of Mexican security forces. But nowhere have so many cases been reported as in Ciudad Juarez, possibly because Mexico's largest drug cartel is based here. The Chihuahua authorities have compiled a list of 100 people who have disappeared in the state this year alone. These disappearances are in addition to the scores of bodies dumped in ditches and fields around Juarez every year, most of them victims of drug or sexual violence....For its part, the Clinton Administration largely appears to have turned a blind eye toward the disappearances, consistently praising the Mexican Government's anti-drug efforts....Who is responsible for the disappearances?"--Sam Dillon, The New York Times
"They found her body out in the desert...[she] had been sexually assaulted and strangled....[This] tragedy is just one entry in a list of more than 80 young women who have been murdered in Juarez since 1993-- the worst string of mostly unsolved killings in Mexico's history."--Howard LaFranchi, Christian Science Monitor
"That Charles Bowden is a philosopher is eloquently demonstrated in Juarez: The Laboratory of Our Future, a work that shows us the Mexican border between Juarez and El Paso. Photographers risk their lives at every street corner; Mexican journalists are regularly intimidated, sometimes murdered. No book until now has rendered so powerfully "the beast within us." Mexico and the United States share one of the longest borders on earth, a line that cuts deeply, divides in two, and leaves a scar that never heals. Bowden's wrath is mine."--Elena Poniatowska, author of Massacre in Mexico
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Descripción Aperture, 1998. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Hardcover and dust jacket. Good binding and cover. Clean, unmarked pages. Ships daily. Nº de ref. de la librería 1703060030
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Descripción Aperture, New York, 1998. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Javier Aguilar, Jaime Bailleres, Gabriel Cardona, Julian Cardona, Alfredo Carillo, Raul Lodoza, Jaime Murietta, Miguel Perea, Margarita Reyes, Ernesto Rodriguez, Manuel Saenz, Lucio Soria Espino,Aurelio Suarez Nunez Ilustrador. First edition. SIGNED. 136pp. Quarto [28.5 cm] 1/2 red cloth over red boards with title stamped in black on backstrip. Illustrated with color photographs. Signed by both the author, Charles Bowden, and one of the principal photographers, Julian Cardona. A collection of photographs by the fearless news photographers of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico with Bowden's investigation of the border town. Preface by Noam Chomsky. Afterword by Eduardo Galeano. Photographs by Javier Aguilar, Jaime Bailleres, Gabriel Cardona, Julian Cardona, Alfredo Carillo, Raul Lodoza, Jaime Murietta, Miguel Perea, Margarita Reyes, Ernesto Rodriguez, Manuel Saenz, Lucio Soria Espino, Aurelio Suarez Nunez. First and only edition of this groundbreaking work. Nº de ref. de la librería 41228
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