Entry Title: "Labor Movement"
Name:
Alejandro Cartagena
, United States
Category: Professional, Book (Series Only)


Entry Description:

From his morning-time perch above the southbound lanes of Highway 85 in Monterrey, Mexico,
photographer Alejandro Cartagena catches images of people on their way to work. These
workers, the photographer says, are on their way from the lower- or middle-class suburbs
in the north to more affluent southern regions, where the work is.

For Cartagena, the glimpses into these open-air commutes remind him of an earlier time
when his grandfather would do something similar. I had seen the practice and kind of
lived it through my grandfather. Cartagena said. His grandfather was in construction, a
team leader. And he would have guys come to his house, and then they would carpool.

But he also sees these scenes as commentary on the larger issue of urban planning, or a
lack thereof, noting that each year Monterrey builds an average of 60,000 new homes, and
the construction is going on far from the city center. Its just crazy, he says,
because theres no public transportation for them to get to the inner cities.

The photos reveal moments that seem almost intimate, as commuters are caught in repose.

For me the images are really attractive, because they speak of something really private,
says Cartagena, who is 34. What theyre doing is something that is not meant to be seen,
but its done in a public space.

About the Artist: