Photographer Frankie Mills is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this social documentary photography. From her project ‘The Black and White of Mexico‘. To see Frankie’s body of work click on any image.
Mexico City brims with life that comes from every corner of society. The rich walk their Chihuahuas, or push them in pink prams, whilst shopping for organic doggie treats sold on the side of the road. On the very same streets families sell cups of maize coated in chili and lime to try and get by. Mexico City is truly the city of labors, of trabajadores. The Metro itself has an economy; vendors alternate between carriages at each stop selling anything from bibles to posters of pin up girls. You can find entire streets that dedicate themselves to nothing but the sale of pieces of paper, ticking watches, or the skin for the top of a drum. I’ve heard there is one street that is roamed almost exclusively by blind people, playing children’s instruments, whilst silently asking for the change in your pocket.
In a city with such an extremely wealthy and secular population, where people opt to take their helicopter in order to travel downtown instead of face the traffic, I became fascinated by the ways in which the remainder of Mexico City’s 21 million citizens got by. My photography became a quest for documenting fragmented moments of exchange and labor in the streets, of boys getting their hair cut in markets, or of men selling snacks at football games.
I often found myself stumbling across surreal moments of silence where a person would stand completely still admits the noise and frantic pace of the city. Sometimes they’d be surrounded by their goods for sale, or other times seemed to simply belong to a part of the cities landscape, where a leaned on lamp post became a place of home and refuge for hours on end. When I left the city to see more of Mexico, I started to find more of these silent moments and began getting closer and taking portraits. What resulted was another kind of exchange – where I’d attempt to explain why I’d asked for a photo, and would listen to whatever story the person in the photo had to offer. Never getting to far with words, the photos are something of a glimpse into the rhythm and pace of Mexico, its people and its poetry.
By Frankie Mills