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Book cover of Rebellious Forests, with a figure wearing a skeleton of animal on head, standing near a tree, with mountains behind. Published by Kulturalis.

Rebellious Forests

By (author) Pavel Hroch
By (author) León García Lam


Publishing 25th Dec 2024
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  • A collection of unique photographs from the Purépecha region of Michoacán, Mexico, which present a world that rebels against the changes of history in a constant desire not to disappear
  • The images in this book highlight two viewpoints: on the one hand, that of the Purépecha themselves, a forest civilization marked by an indomitable spirit of rebellion and a desire to present their virtually unchanging world; and, on the other hand, that of a photographer astonished by the events unfurling around him who portrays them in a unique, unrepeatable record. Both these viewpoints intertwine to create images in which the spiral of time becomes so dense that it seems to trap the reader in this ancestral world
  • Featuring unique previously unseen pictures
  • Includes the stories behind the photographs
  • Depicts fascinating hidden communities
Full Description

Cherán is a social, political, and anthropological phenomenon without precedent in Mexico. Rebellious Forests gathers together images captured by Pavel Hroch during his travels in the land of the Purépecha in Michoacán, particularly the towns of Cherán, Comachuén, and Cocucho. These photographs show a world confronting global problems such as deforestation, water shortages, and the violence of organized crime while also rebelling against historical changes, driven by a constant desire to endure. The book reflects the Purépecha community’s successful struggle to achieve autonomy and control over their territory after a confrontation that pitted armed locals against illegal loggers and drug traffickers. This resistance led to the expulsion of these invaders and the establishment of Purépecha systems of security and self-government, based on their own cosmology and traditional practices.

About the Author

Pavel Hroch is a Czech photographer, translator, and journalist born in Bogotá, Colombia. His work has taken him to Mexico, Russia, the Romanian Banat, Slovakia, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan, Spain, and Cuba. He has had solo exhibitions at, among other places, the House of Representatives, Washington, D.C., the National Gallery of Bucharest, and the Museo Memoria y Tolerancia in Mexico City. His photographs have been published in periodicals across the world; for example Ojarasca and Cultura Sur in Mexico, and Lidové noviny and Reflex in the Czech Republic. León García Lam is a Mexican anthropologist and author born in San Luis Potosí. His work focuses on the community life of the indigenous peoples of San Luis Potosí and Michoacán and the guiding concepts of their cultures—their ritual system, their notion of body-person, their pilgrimages, indigenous rules and regulations, sense of community, childhood, heritage, arts and crafts, and health. In 2018, he received the Fray Bernardino de Sahagún Award for his research on the ritual system of the Pame people of Ciudad del Maíz in San Luis Potosí, and in 2022, an honourable mention from the Manuel Espinosa Yglesias Award for an article on the defense of the forests of the indigenous community of San Francisco Cherán K’eri.

Publish date
25th Dec 2024
USA & Canada
11.42 in x 11.42 in
248 Pages
219 b&w
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