Residents of the poor industrial city in Mexico, Ecatepec, have dedicated themselves to a community art project that has become a Mexican obsession. The citizens of this town are focused on visualizing victimhood, which essentially means broadcasting real people from the data. Marco Hernandez Murrieta is the president of the foundation that organized the photo project and states that “We speak too often in terms of the numbers… We’re putting a face on the statistics.”

Essentially what the members are doing is putting up huge photographic posters on industrial buildings of victims of crime. Young people from rough neighborhoods in the town were given photography classes and then recruited these crime victims as their subjects. Subjects ranged from those who have lost relatives, witnessed murders, drug addicts, girlfriends of criminals, to a man who feared he’d never see his imprisoned son again before he dies.

Mr. Hernandez explained that the point of this was not political, but artistic crime prevention. I find this to be extremely interesting as a concept of crime prevention because one wouldn’t normally think of this. Mr.Hernandez seems to believe that those thinking of committing a crime might be persuaded not to when they look into the eyes of the subjects on these large posters. I believe this might be efficient deterrence for some, but most likely only the low level criminals. Mexico has many more serious problems like trafficking of all kinds, murder, and rape. Usually, members of the cartel are committing these atrocious crimes and they have been notorious for disregarding other peoples lives and feelings. I find this project to still be an amazing feat for a town such as this and believe it is a great way at fighting back against injustice.

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Annaiza Castellanos

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