Alejandra Aragón

Alejandra Aragón, Mexico

“How can ‘reset’ be understood in places where capitalist production sustains powerful economies, and in which way does this situation influence the preconceptions that exist about the border and people’s experience?

Alejandra Aragón is a visual artist, documentary photographer and activist based in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. In her work, she explores the links between violence, memory, and representation in the construction of the imaginary and identity from a transfeminist, decolonial stance. "It is from the exploration of the intimate related to the public experience that we will understand how deeply late capitalism conditions affect us. In order to decolonize our gaze, we need to question the image-making process and materiality," she says.

“Alejandra Aragón's awareness of the use of image making and representation of her community in Ciudad Juárez is sophisticated and well-informed,” said Monica Alcazar-Duarte, photographer, artist and teacher, and Joop Swart Masterclass nominator.

For the 2020 Joop Swart Masterclass, Alejandra Aragón approaches the theme ‘reset’ in relation to the concept of border and decolonization. For her, tensions between Mexico and the United States have led to a crisis where normality ceased long before the COVID-19 pandemic. In such context, the border emerges as a disruption to the two geopolitical, economic and symbolic systems. The project is a quest for the elements that evoke fissures of these failed systems, and for the signs of resistance to the imposition of these ideals on our bodies, our subjectivity, our perception about truth and reality, and therefore on our fragmented identities."

2020 Joop Swart Masterclass

For the first time, due to the current global health crisis, the Joop Swart Masterclass is taking place online over a period of four months, and 24 participants and eight masters have been selected to make the program more inclusive.

I would like to get to understand how my work is understood by a wider audience, especially fellows from other countries that have similar characteristics as Mexico,” said Aragon.

The educational experience of the Joop Swart Masterclass is based on an assignment to produce a photo essay around a given theme. This year the theme is ‘Reset’.

This year's theme made me wonder whether the border region where I live really has the opportunity for a ‘new beginning.’ How can the concept be understood in places where capitalist production sustains powerful economies, and in which way does this situation influence the preconceptions that exist about the border and people’s experience?” she added.

From July to October 2020, the participants will work on their projects and receive mentorship and guidance from the mentors. The final projects will be presented on 29 October 2020. Learn more about the 2020 Joop Swart Masterclass