documenting worlds
photography by annie appel
film-based work *
activism
refugee, germany 2016
the occupy portraits
exchanges I
exchanges II

voices
mexico
viva
uncle jay

work
l.a. theatre works
l.a. chamber orchestra
pro express
mandala
silent sisters
little bell

passages
spielberg
lucy
waiting
common descent

confidences
the gratitude journals
self-portraits
one day
three
notorious

about the artist
bio and resume
video interviews
field notes

mentoring
legacy workshop
individual tutorials
home
The project began with a chance encounter. In summer 1994, while
traveling in Baja, Mexico, I met María. Eight months pregnant and
accompanied by two young daughters, she was trudging up a dirt
road to take lunch to her husband. I offered water and drawing
pencils. In exchange, they invited me to join them. The family lived
in a two-room, adobe house that Jaime, Maria's husband, had built
of bricks he made from local clay. I believed they had a more
immediate kind of life than I did. Their humanity seemed more raw
than what I knew. I promised myself to document their world for a
decade. That commitment stretched to two decades. During my 23
visits, spaced according to my resources, my cameras and journals
tracked life transitions. I imagined the outcome as a simple, yet
universal, story: One family, their war on poverty, and the broad
devastation wrought by generations of illiteracy. The work shifted
over time to include a tale of friendship, trust, and how strangers
become family
.

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