Beauty and the Beast

Tourist reading Nuestro Diario from Guatemala

Normally, every photo at AntiguaDailyPhoto.Com comes with a caption, a narrative or even a story. Not always, the story is about the photo itself and almost never the narrative is the story behind the photo. Today’s an exception.

I went to one of the banks around Parque Central to do some mandados, errands, and when I was done, I went to get my shoes shined before heading back to the office. I found a nice spot with shade near the fountain of Las Sirenas, and began making small talk to the lustradores, shoe shinners, while one of them work hard. Then, I noticed the young woman above right across from where we were sitting taking photos of the shoe shinners and the indigenous women selling artesanías, handicrafts, on our side. She was timid and pulled her camera swiftly, took the photos and put it away before anyone can say cheese. Not extraordinary here; this happens dozens of times any given day in Central Park in and around La Antigua Guatemala. It was only until she picked up Nuestro Diario, Our Daily literally, the most sensationalist newspaper in Central America and the one with biggest distribution between Mexico and Colombia, that I decided to pull my own camera and record the extraordinary vista. I took my time since I am little more experienced at this photo taking business, you know, I captured perhaps six or seven different shots. You have probably seen some of them in the Antigua News Tweets. Oh I really like the feel and movement of this image for a number of reasons.

As I have said before, “Well, I don’t have enough words to describe the feeling or “puncture” I derive from this photograph as Roland Barthes calls it in his book Camera Lucida. The interesting part about photography is that we are all affected or tickled by different things. This photo might not do anything for you.” It punctures me dearly!

© 2009 – 2013, Rudy Giron. All rights reserved.

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  • Delightful. There is something about photos of people reading that always inspires me.

  • emromesco

    I am amazed by the globalization of fashion… also, the head scarf, probably just a fashion statement down south, but over here it would be a sign of belonging to specific ethnic-cultural groups… and still make a fashion statement. Any hints about the provenance of this mademoiselle?

  • Speaking of a sensational waste of time… I don’t understand the value of TV novelas. Sorry if you’re a fan, but I’d rather join Rudy on that bench talking to shoe shiners, getting a real scoop on life… than waste any of my time watching one of those.

    @eromesco: In part, I agree with you about the head scarf. But, I also know that it works great in shading one’s head or neck from the sun. It then gracefully transforms into a light pull-over when it gets chilly at night here in La Antigua. Perhaps the scarf has become a religious statement or a fashion statement, but some of us still use them for the functionality as well, which is what I imagine was their purpose before religion or fashion. I’m not going to lie… I like getting the functionality out of them WHILE ALSO looking fashionable. 😉

  • Are you calling this delightful young lady a beast? If you know something you’re not telling, you should!

  • I see the Beauty but I don’t see the Beast? Nice snap!

    • @Leif Hage, the beast is the horrible newspaper. If you ever browse its pages you will think “beast” is an understatement. 😉

  • Eric

    @Laura – I’ll take the best of both worlds, thank you. The occasional telenovela (I haven’t found one yet that’s completely hooked me) makes my worst days seem not so bad, and los lustradores, well – they know just about everything, if you know how to ask.

    @Rudy – along emromesco’s line of questioning – do we know anything about said young lady ? Most importantly, do you think she has an older sister ? Ja-ja-ja. Guatemala is such a beautiful country …