Mexico is one of the most colourful countries I’ve ever had the privilege of exploring. Its arts, food, fashion, nature, cultures, music and histories reveal its majesty, creativity, intellect and expressive depth. Here is a selection of photographs that attempt to capture some of the art of Mexico, as I understand it.
Mexico is a deeply religious country, for better or worse. Before it was colonised by the Spanish in 1519, the ancient religion was Nahua, which was an amalgamation of beliefs of the tribes of the region. Several deities were worshipped, and ritual human sacrifice and cannibalism were common practice. The Nahuatl peoples were intellectually advanced, excelling in astronomy and mathematics, sciences which were used by the priests. When the Spanish invaded Mexico, they attempted to displace their multitude of gods in favour of one. They were unsuccessful and today, Mexican Catholicism represents a unique blend of indigeneity and Christianity.
Santo de Domingo Cathedral
Candles inside a Oaxacan church glow brightly
Church of the Divine Saviour: Malinalco
The enduring legacy of colonialism
I accidentally gatecrash a wedding in Valle de Bravo
Rosita adorns the outside of her home for the barrios’ celebration of Christ
I awoke in the morning with a cumbersome sense of sadness and despair. I’d been dreaming of a massacre of what at first I thought were some of the world’s political leaders. They were being piled up to be killed. Just as I awoke, I realised that in fact they were the cast of EastEnders. Distraught, I followed my usual morning routine of preparing a mason jar of ginger, lemon, honey and cider vinegar and wiled away some time on Facebook. Scrolling down the page on my laptop my heart would lurch from joy to sadness as images of beauty and pain all seemed to merge into one. Continue reading →
This is the second instalment in a series entitled Uncover London in which I ditch travelling with a passport and backpack, and delve into the city’s hidden gems. The first place I explored, Island Gardens, was chosen at random from the underground map, and was selected based on its exotic and enticing name. This post is about my trip to Boston Manor, an area a dear friend and I passed through en route from Heathrow Airport. We were returning from an extremely colourful non-conventional wedding in Poland. My friend had been sat next to a ridiculously handsome man on the plane, with whom we continued our journey back into London on the tube. As we trundled through Boston Manor, I decided aloud that this would be the next location that I’d rove. The handsome man exclaimed that Boston Manor was “really boring,” and “apart from a dull high street, there was absolutely nothing to see.” That consolidated my choice, motivating me to counter his subjective observations by seeking to find beauty in banality.
One day, whilst sitting alone together with hundreds of nameless commuters on a tube heading somewhere, I lost myself in the map of coloured lines. I’d been back in England for a few months, and was daydreaming about the freedom of travelling with a backpack, camera and endless time. As I scanned the various train’s paths, it dawned on me I needn’t venture too far for my next trip as London was brimming with the unknown. I’d heard a plethora of names over the tannoy for years, but had never thought of visiting these places. I decided I would explore the city that I lived in without a cumbersome backpack and passport but with the same intrigue and desire.
Colombia is one of the most outstanding places on earth. Its people are kind, generous, warm, and friendly and being that it is the second most biodiverse country in the world, it is geographically awesome. For me, Colombia is fighting hard with India for first place as the most phenomenal country ever.
Let’s take a quick trip together to seven of Colombia’s best spots.
1. Bogotá: Cundinamarca
Bogota is a thriving city, filled to the brim with fascinating places to explore. Take a cable car up Mount Monserrate and if your vision isn’t obfuscated by clouds (mine was), absorb the dramatic landscape that cushions Colombia’s capital.
Up until recently, I didn’t even know what a selfie was. It isn’t a stroke of genius in its explanation: a self-portrait photograph, usually taken on a smart phone or small digital camera. Even the word ‘selfie’ makes my skin crawl, almost as badly as the abbreviation of laptop, which is commonly known in Bristol as a lappy. I want to express today how selfies have made me feel over these last few months, travelling around the Americas.