juan alonso

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CASTLES IN THE SKY
Digital Photography, 20 X 25 CMS., 2015

The State of Tlaxcala in Mexico is the capital of trafficking with persons for sexual purposes along the American continent. Several of its cities are dedicated to this lucrative business as it’s the case of Acuamanala de Miguel Hidalgo, Ayometitla, Olextla, Santa Catarina Ayometla, San Cosme Mazatecochco, among others, but mainly in Santa María Acxotla del Monte and Tenancingo. (In 2008 this activity was detected in 23 of the 60 cities of Tlaxcala).

The work of the pimp or “padrote” consists in searching and seducing with lies and tricks, humble women of other regions, mainly from the south of the country as Oaxaca, Guerrero and Chiapas, and then with wiles and tricks, leading them to prostitution.

This phenomenon has created a series of “family enterprises” given that in many cases the process of trafficking persons is done with the acquiescence of relatives of the pimp. Recent studies report that 10% of the population of towns like Acxotla del Monte and Tenancingo are dedicated to this activity so intensely that one of every five children of these towns want to be a “padrote” when they will grow up.

This series of pictures are centered in the architecture of these pimps who according to the number of women they have, will have more money and are able to build houses so eccentric and weird that show their status: a hybrid construction of styles decorated with sculptures of lions, eagles and swans that remind us castles from fairy tales but in an eclectic and bizarre style.

These pictures are taken and framed through the platform of Google Street View.

This series will be exhibited in the exhibition "Social Manifestations" at the ASAB Gallery in March 2017, under the curatorship of Fernando Pertuz, and will be accompanied by a conference titled "Castles in the Air: Aesthetics and trafficking of persons for sexual purposes in the State of Tlaxcala, Mexico ".