Picturesque Mesilla, N.M., known for its plaza that is a National Historic Landmark, was founded in the late 1840s as a colony of Mexico and became part of the United States in 1853. Its adobe architecture and stately church, the Basillica of San Albino, attract visitors – and photographers, including student photojournalists who documented it as part of the Small Village New Mexico project developed by professor Bruce Berman in conjunction with the NMSU archives.
Students will also photograph Doña Ana in late March, when former state Sen. Mary Jane Garcia will discuss the community’s history along the Camino Real and open the historic mission, the church of Our Lady de la Candelaria, for photography. Visit this website for student posts about that part of the project.
As I park my car in the predawn darkness, I check my bearings in relation to the black silhouette of the Organ Mountains, just to make sure I can find my vehicle among the thousands of others. The Bataan Memorial Death March, the annual tribute to the New Mexicans and others who suffered and died in the Philippines during World War II, attracted more than 7,000 runners and walkers – many completing the 26-mile marathon carrying heavy packs.
Spectators also flock to White Sands Missile Range for the chilly opening ceremonies and to cheer on the marchers during the 75th anniversary of the horrific forced march that claimed the lives of more than 800 New Mexicans and left almost 1,000 survivors from our state who endured not only the five-day march without food or water, but also suffered during their imprisonment until the end of the war.
Writing with light is what photography means, and capturing that illumination is the basis for a successful photograph. NMSU documentary photography students stalked that light as one of their first assignments in the spring 2017 semester, and we hope viewers will find the results, well, enlightening!