There's a new article featuring Laura Shipley's intriguing photography of the US- Mexican border which reminded me of another photojournalist I really admire, Jason Thomas Fritz, whose work on and in Tijauna -- the quintessential bordertown -- is remarkable too and featured on his blog Tiajuanlandia. So I thought I would repost this original look at his work. (And you can check out his more recent Instagram account which a huge trove of his photographs -- though without his insightful commentary.)
Lately, I have been following Tijuanalandia, the astonishing blog/photographic journal of Jason Thomas Fritz, a graduate student working on a project to photo-document life in Tijuana, perhaps one of the most famous (and infamous) bordertowns between the US and Mexico. His photographs, and occasional reportage on politics, sports, and popular culture are absolutely fascinating.
Here is Jason's description of his project: "Tijuanalandia is the creation of Jason Thomas Fritz, a journalist and graduate student at San Diego State University living in Tijuana. Acknowledging that Tijuana defies any attempt at defining it, Tijuanalandia aims to explore this most misunderstood of cities through visual dispatches. The outsider’s portrait of the city that emerges is an effort to challenge the narratives of crime, violence and vice that dominate popular conceptions of Tijuana."
There are moments in this journal that are just surreal -- such as La Mona -- a five story tall sculpture of a completely nude woman in the middle of a slum neighborhood. Or A Toy Story, about the man who has collected over 30,000 discarded children's toys and affixed them in a riotous collage on every surface of his sun-baked house. There are soccer games and bullfights, ice cream parlors, the late night scenes of local bars, the itinerant musicians, and the border, with its daily traffic.