Life & Culture

A Photographer’s Portrait of Modern-Day Mexico  

In his photographic diary, Joseph Skilton captures the nation’s joy, dancers, lovers and energy

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York-born, London-based photographer Joseph Skilton was first drawn to Mexico after reading La Calle by Alex Webb, which comprises mysterious streetscapes of the Central American nation. Skilton himself had been practising photography for a while – without, he says, “taking anything too seriously”. “It was the rise of websites like Flickr that helped me to see the camera as a wonderful tool for storytelling,” he says. This year, inspired by Webb’s book, Skilton decided to head to Mexico himself, keeping a photographic diary along the way – here, he tells us about his trip and the series he created.

“Here is a folio of pictures taken in Mexico this year. They were all taken quickly, whilst walking – all as a response to wonder and curiosity.

“I had no previous relationship with Mexico, I picked up a book called La Calle by Alex Webb and was so drawn to what kind of place could create this warm chaos. The light was incredible. Viktorija and I booked flights when it was constantly cold in London, as something to look forward to.

“I was struck by how it felt to be in a city so huge, the largest Spanish-speaking city in the world, a city that is slowly sinking into the ground. I was struck by the joy in people, the dancers in the street, the lovers in the parks, and how it felt to be surrounded by such energy. Kids play patty cake, mezcal tastes smokey, mangoes peel like bananas.”

Follow Joseph Skilton on Instagram here