Tepito, el barrio, by photographer Adriana Zehbrauskas, is a book consisting of 102 color photographs taken in the barrio of Tepito in Mexico City. Local sounds and an interview with señora Carmen, a native of the area, are included.
“One vast market-place, ten city blocks of color, commerce, crime and contradiction packed into the heart of Mexico City - this is Tepito. Known as the “Barrio Bravo,”
Just a mention that you’re from here is enough to fail a job interview. But there is another side to the Barrio Bravo. Generations have been born and
raised here. There are sporting clubs, churches, art galleries. Older residents remember a different time, before the current influx of drug dealers, violent criminals and pirates, a time when the community was tightly knit and to live here was a source of pride.
Religion is still a very strong part of everyday life: though traditional catholic beliefs must live alongside the powerful cult of the Santa Muerte, a ghoulish skeleton-goddess whose origins reach far back to pre-Columbian Mexico. She is worshipped by criminals and ordinary citizens alike –they come to her to pray for the recovery of health, stolen items, or kidnapped family members. As one local resident says: “people come here, all types. It doesn’t matter. Dentists, murderers, narcos, teachers, it makes no difference at all. If perhaps you have something you don’t want to go to God with, you come here. Say your cousin is in jail. You make an offering and you ask her to help him. It makes no difference to her who you are or what you ask.” (William Brandt)