“Seri Indians, beyond folklore”, Mexico.
by Franck Courtel.
The first time I saw the Seris was in 2007, in Punta Chueca, Sonora, on the shores of the Sea of Cortés, in the Gulf of California. Although it was really the second time because I had seen them before in a book of photographs by Graciela Iturbide in 1996. So, it was twelve years later, that I decided to visit them, live with them and spend long periods in the region, which resulted in this collection of photographs.
In the village of El Desemboque, my “open sesame” to make contact with the community was Gabriela, a young woman of twenty who was interesting in photography and Erika, as Kela, her aunt. For two weeks, traveling around the village with my two interpreter-guides, I realized that in spite of their geographical isolation the Seris had access to the internet, cell phones and the Mexican soap operas on TV. This explained why, despite pressure from their parents, it was difficult for them to be faithful to their traditions and for the young people to find their place and identity. Finally, if we think about it, they are at the crossroad of three cultures : the Seri, the Mexican and the United States.