Yael Martinez | The Blood and the Rain

Country of origin: Mexico
Project location: Mexico
Program: Photography in Collaboration
Collaborator: Julio Glockner, Orlando Velazquez
Year: 2016

In Guerrero, Mexico there are communities which still perform pre-hispanic ceremonies. They are ancestral Meso-Americans who see both blood and rain as sacred. Our project, The blood and the rain, sought a way to document the rain petition rituals and sacrifices which they perform, but do not allow to be photographed. By combining photography with drawing, we found a way to explore the layers of the physical and metaphysical in these rituals without exposing or violating them.

For us it is very important to represent, in a symbolic way, the relationship that exists between people, their gods, and nature. We wanted to talk about the close bond that is maintained between them and how the rain ritual is more than an event or a performance, it is a philosophy of life that holds in balance the cycles of sacred forces such as wind, sun, rain, earth. Where, through sacrifice and pain, blood is gratefully given to the earth – the generator of life.

When we visited this sacred place, we thought about faith and what might drive a person to climb a mountain, to cross it regardless of the weather, pain, or fatigue. And we thought about what makes some members of the community of Zitlala offer their pain and their blood to give something back to the earth: the immense sacred being.