Fraun Blaum, 2010
images, Dimensions Variable, Duration Variable
Fraum Blaum (Flower women) is an examination of the life stories of a group of Mennonite women who have allowed me to photograph intimate spaces and daily experiences within their community, Nuevo Ideal, in Durango, and The Onda Zacatecas.
The images focus on the emotional bonds between these women and reveal peaceful and harmonious moments which lead us to perceive their lifestyles as more than simply conservative and rigid. This isolated community appears, to me, extraordinary. The lives of these women are fascinating and enigmatic.
The trips I’ve made to this community represent a great adventure for me, as I retreat from the world I experience everyday. Through roads of dust, I set out to discover my own personal story.
Raised by Christian parents, I was exposed to conservative religious traditions in my childhood, and I perceive a scent of my own history in their colors and customs.
To look at Amish women is to also be looked at by them.
Our dialogues are in Spanish, or the High and Low German they speak amongst themselves, or through signaled gestures. But the real communication is through feelings shared between the women and me, and framed inside the pictures - passions, friendships, secrets, pleasures, and amusements.
Fraum Blaum makes reference to a common motif in the lives of these women. Flowers appear on their dresses, on their personal objects, in their names, and in their gardens.