Interview with Fermín Guzmán
My name is Fermín Guzmán. I was born in Mexico City although I live in the municipality of Chimalhuacán. I started my photography studies in 2008 and since then I have felt a huge passion for street photography because it allows me to show my reality.
Mexico is a country of social contrasts, colors, stories and incredible sites, from the neighborhoods of the cities to the indigenous peoples. Everything I look at with an anthropological look. I think my country is my biggest inspiration because I’m too excited to show my surroundings and my reality from my point of view with my own eyes and now with my camera. On the other hand I am very grateful to my photography professors Mark Powell, a great street photographer, and Jesús Villaseca, an incredible photojournalist. They inspired me to continue with this profession and above all to give it a sense and value.
For me, photography is an emotional therapy, since I forget all my problems when I take my camera and start walking and observe everything that surrounds me. I also observe everything anthropologically. I am surprised by the city and rural customs, social relations that occur in these places, architecture, religious and commercial symbols and I get lost in the vastedad of Mexico City or a city far from the capital of the country. In that sense my walks are constant, two or three times a week, although all the time I charge my camera in case something catches my attention.
Street photography is composed of several elements that combine with each other in an equal time and space, such as light, shadows, colors, shapes, architecture, people, symbolism and even the behavior of the crowd. Knowing how to find and unite these elements can create unique and extraordinary moments. The way to find these elements is observing, and necessarily the street photographer must be an expert observer and sensitive to their surroundings. One of the many definitions of the term “magical realism” says that it is an attitude to reality that does not lead the author to the creation of imaginary worlds, but induces him to penetrate reality in depth, to discover the mysteries that are hidden in her. Knowing and walking the streets of the city, the neighborhood or the village can give us much material to exemplify the “magical realism” we can find in these places moments and wonderful characters that did not seem real but are.
I document the streets for two reasons, firstly because I am passionate about walking the streets and feel like a tourist in my city or a visual anthropologist. Secondly because I believe that street photography is a document of historical awareness that will serve to make the children of our children realize the way of life of generations past and glimpse the why of their current reality.