EXHIBITION: Defiant Spirits: Fernando Brito’s Sinaloa

John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage
, Gallery

Defiant Spirits is an exhibition of the Mexican documentary photographer Fernando Brito’s moving images of life in Sinaloa, a province that has been wrecked by the struggle between one of the most powerful drug cartels in the world and the Mexican government. The exhibition includes five photographs from Brito’s award-winning series, Tus Pasos Se Perdieron con el Paisaje/Your Steps Were Lost in the Landscape (begun in 2010), of corpses found dead in the Mexican landscape, most of them victims of the drug wars. In them, Brito juxtaposes the brutality of the bloodied, lifeless bodies with the impossible beauty of the surrounding landscape, lending these photographs the epic feel of 19th-century paintings of war. Twenty photographs in the exhibition are from Brito’s more recent series, which shows Sinaloans’ resilience in the face of this violence. These images show Sinaloans’ religious rites, festivals, and other celebrations of local history, underscoring the centrality of performance in building community.

Defiant Spirits was curated by Didier Aubert, Director of American Studies at Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris, and was shown previously at Fordham University and at Yale University in 2019. Defiant Spirits will be on view at the Carriage House Gallery at the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage from February 6 through April 16, 2020.

Thursday, February 6, 5:30pm – 7pm: Opening Reception with Professor Patricia Ybarra, Associate Professor of Theater Arts and Performance Studies at Brown University

Monday, April 6, 5:30pm – 7pm: Panel Discussion, featuring Fernando Brito and Didier Aubert in conversation

Thursday, April 16, 5:30 – 7pm: Closing Reception

Gallery Hours: Monday-Friday, 10am-4pm (closed on weekends and holidays)

This exhibition is co-sponsored by a grant from the Brown Arts Initiative.