Books Published

Images and Memory: Latin American Photography 1880-1992, with Wendy Watriss. University of Texas Press, 1998.

FotoFest 1992, a major festival of international photography in Houston, brought Latin American photography into focus for a wide public audience. Offering a diverse selection of photographers, countries, artistic movements, and subject matter, the shows revealed a photographic tradition rich in both history and creativity. In its review of the exhibits, the New York Times said, "The photographic record is like some vast national subconscious made visible and waiting to be fathomed. Whatever is spurring the Latin American re-examination of the self it has seen through the viewfinder, it is worth paying attention to."

Drawing from the more than 1,000 images exhibited by FotoFest, this book documents the work of fifty photographers from ten countries. The photographs range from the opening of the Brazillian frontier in the 1880s to documentary images from El Salvador's 1980-1992 civil war to works of specifically aesthetic and experimental intent. Many of the photographs appear here in print for the first time.

Wendy Watriss's opening essay provides the curatorial overview for the book. In her essay, Lois Parkinson Zamora examines some of the roots of visual imagery in Latin American cultures. An essay by Boris Kossoy addresses the history of Latin American photography in the nineteenth century, delving into the social iconography that evolved from the mingling of indigenous and European traditions. Fernando Castro covers the contemporary scene and the debate over "artistic" versus documentary work. An extensive bibliography by Marta Sanchez Philippe and artist biographies conclude the book.

Image and Memory is one of the broadest overviews of Latin American photography ever published. With its compelling images and English-Spanish text, this book will serve as a benchmark for future studies.

Wendy Watriss is the artistic director of FotoFest. Lois Parkinson Zamora is Professor of English at the University of Houston and a specialist in Latin American literature and culture.