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In a Village
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© Colette Urbajtel/Archivo Manuel Álvarez Bravo, SC

Manuel Alvarez Bravo
Mexican, 1942 - 1945
Gelatin silver print
7 3/16 x 9 1/2 in.
92.XM.23.51

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Oblivious to the figure seated behind her, a young woman with a baby on her back emerges from a house functioning as a general store. Manuel Alvarez Bravo's photograph captures a moment of suspended motion, in which the young woman's half-lifted foot hovers above the ground. Her shawl's tassels swing in the air and, from afar, appears to brush the seated woman's arm.

Alvarez Bravo sometimes referred to this image as Sueño de una turista, meaning Tourist's Dream. The tourist here is Doris Heydn, his second wife, whose socks and huraches emphasize her foreign origins. Heydn had accompanied Alvarez Bravo on a photography expedition to the countryside. Unaccustomed to extended periods of time in the relentless sun, Heydn was soon exhausted. The two women, oblivious to each other though separated by a few steps, create an ambiguous tension.