Portraits-in-Place from the Sotavento: A Photo-Dialogue between Abraham Bosque and J.A. Strub





Veracuz Mexico, portrait photography, ethnomusicology, tropics, place, collaborative ethnography


Resulting from a series of conversations between its co-contributors, this photo-dialogue considers themes of nature-culture entanglements through the photographic work of Abraham Bosque, a documentary filmmaker and photojournalist who has lived in the Sotavento region of Mexico since 2017. Bosque’s work deals with the challenges implicit in portraying a tropical landscape whose vitality is the impetus for its extractivistic plunder. Through their conversations, Strub and Bosque consider eleven portraits-in-place that highlight, explore, and challenge ways of thinking about the relationships between humankind and nature, parochiality and globalization, tradition and modernity, beauty and violence, and the documentarian and their subject, all considered within the context of the Sotavento’s storied tropicality.

Author Biographies

J.A. Strub, University of Texas at Austin, USA

J.A. Strub is a student of ethnomusicology at the University of Texas at Austin. His research centers around questions of self-representation, media circulation, and participatory cultural economies among musicians, audiences, and community documentary makers in Mexico. Originally from New York, USA, Strub holds an undergraduate degree in economics and statistics and had worked in a variety of social services and activist settings before returning to academia, affording his work a diversity of perspective and a focus on applied scholarship. His forthcoming co-authored book, Maldito Coronavirus!: Mapping Latin American Musical Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic, is scheduled for release by Equinox Publishing in late 2023.

Abraham Ávila Quintero , Independent Documentarian, México

Abraham “Bosque” Ávila Quintero is a photographer, documentarian, and film producer from Toluca in the State of Mexico. He holds a degree in philosophy from la Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México and has spent the last five years living in Chacaltianguis, Veracruz, a town in the Papaloapan river basin. Bosque has directed, edited, filmed, and participated in the production of various documentary films, including Los Ojos del Violín (2020), Como el Rio y las Mariposas (2017), and Tierra Abierta (forthcoming). His photojournalistic work has been shared in Milenio, El Portal, Radio Zapote, among other outlets.




How to Cite

Strub, J., & Ávila Quintero , A. (2022). Portraits-in-Place from the Sotavento: A Photo-Dialogue between Abraham Bosque and J.A. Strub. ETropic: Electronic Journal of Studies in the Tropics, 21(1), 218–238. https://doi.org/10.25120/etropic.21.1.2022.3860