Leftovers, 2020

The current series has been shot in March 2019 on the coast of Mazunte, Oaxaca in Mexico.

The coast of Mazunte is nowadays recognised as a nesting site of sea turtles yet has been a center of sea turtle and sea life exploitation from the 1970s to the 1990s. Over the 1970s a slaughterhouse was built in Mazunte making the town completely dependant on the trade of turtle meat, eggs and bones. This massacre lasted around 30 years leading to a global decline in the world’s turtle population. Legally about 30,000 animals a year were butchered. To overcome the massacre happening, the idea of ecotourism based on sea turtles began over the same years through the company “the Pesquera Industrial Oaxaca”, which proposed an industry alternative based on the raising and release of sea turtles instead. Nowadays, a cooperation between The Mexican Turtle Center and the National Program of Sea Turtles, is currently involved in successful development initiatives to create an integration between the care for the natural spaces and the growth and support of the local communities.

Unaware of the facts at the time of the shooting, I began to wonder about the history of the land while editing the images, as my attention got caught by the “traces of the souls” which had been impressed in the nature I was observing.

Feeling close to William Blake's phrase : “To see a World in a Grain of Sand” , the photographs are water’s transfiguration of nature engraved in the sands of Mazunte. In my eyes, the phantom of a historical past blends to the the pure beauty of the sea and its fundamental role for existence.


All work ©Alexandra Von Fuerst