Here's the reasoning used by this type of governmental B.S. "The king of England is a man. I am a man. Therefore, I am the king of England." Mexico has no lock on this type of stupidity. Here in Tucson there are several federal, state and county entities who look after parks and forests. You would need permits from the Forest Service, National Parks and State Parks to visit areas just a few miles apart. All collect revenues to feather their own nests. All are manned by incredibly stupid robots who have no discretionary abilities. At least in Mexico, you can deal with people as individuals.
As I have said, "Isn't there some way we can resolve this matter?" works quite well for me. tim
Well, José, the fact that we need a permission to photograph in an archeological site in Mexico is stating the obvious. That is the reason we are having this discussion. The issue is how one obtains such a permission! As you know, it must be obtained through INAH, and there is an INAH office in Oaxaca. Logically one would assume that the local jurisdiction of INAH in Oaxaca should control the issuance of such permissions for the archeological sites in Oaxaca. But does it? Apparently not, but who knows for sure because you get the run around in dealing with INAH. In Oaxaca I went to the local office of INAH but was told that the permission had to come from Mexico City. So I contacted the central office in Mexico City and they refer me back to Oaxaca, and a non-functioning email and fax number. Eventually I just gave up.
Originally Posted by Jose A Martinez
The thread you cite about photographing public buildings in the US is not relevant to this discussion. That prohibition exists either because of logistical or security reasons, most of which have appeared in the post 9/11 period. The parallel comparison to photographing archeological sites in Mexico would be photographing ruins in the state and national parks in the US, at say Mesa Verde, Chaco Canyon, Hovenweep, etc. At these places not only is a tripod allowed, but often the people who run these sites will go out of their way to provide access for serious photographers, even at times to the point of arranging to open the gates early and/or close them late.
Last edited by sanking; 06-04-2005 at 12:42 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Sorry to have started this.
I will state publicly that both Jose and Jorge have helped me tremendously on this trip. Jorge provided me with chemicals and Jose delivered them last night.
Then Jose, my girlfriend and I had a wonderful dinner together that included this very discussion (as well as many other topics) and I can see all sides of this "issue".
The frustrating point for me is the lack of info about this before I got here. I did my research. I asked the questions. Not one person, book, or website mentions the need for a permit. I bought my tickets 4 months ago. I would have applied for the permit then. Live and learn.
On a more positive aspect, Jose will be talking to a photo class from Santa Fe today and showing his work. Then we are going to an opening tonight featuring photographs from seven female photographers. I am sure dinner and great conversation will follow.
Sorry, but I think you are taking too much of a cavalier attitude towards something that should be your right to be able to do. As King says, it is not so much that you need a permit, but that you need one that is so difficult and expensive to obtain. This to do something for which you are already paying with your taxes. I think a $100 for a one day permit is outrageous, and on top of that the petitioner has to waste his/her time dealing with the bureaucracy in Mexico City.
Originally Posted by Jose A Martinez
Bottom line Jose, I know this sounds trivial to you, but this attitude of carelessness from the citiziens and the goverment is what has made it so difficult for me to adjust living here. Let me give you a good example of the kind of total arrogance and disdain the goverment has towards it's citizens. I wanted to get a Mexican passport since I could not open a bank account with my US one. So I went to the passport office, after I wasted 2 hours having to go have the forms filled and pay at the bank $100 for a 5 year passport (more than in the US) I have all my forms filled with my payment and I get to the passport office at noon and stood in line...and I notice these people are turning away the people in front of me...so I get to the front of the line and the person attending the desk tells me they are closed, that I had to return the next day because they had too much work....I said no way, that they are supposed to work until 3 pm and that I had the right and it was their duty to accept my application, well, they call the person in charge and I said the same thing, I was not nasty or rude, but I was forcefull and demanded they do their job. Of course at the time I am arguing some of the people in front of me as well as behind me are listening. Once they had to accept my form the rest of the people started to demand their rights too.....
So you see, this is exactly the problem with the indifferent attitude you adopt. Instead of demanding that the goverment serves you, after all you are paying their salaries with your taxes and fees. People in Mexico act like sheep, instead of complaining when the goverment does not do their job or does not do it efficiently, you all just shrug your shoulders and go on about your life as if nothing happened. As long as mexicans continue to be indifferent and fail to demand from their govemerment what is rightfully theirs, this country will continue to be third rate.
I am sorry if my opinion hurts your nationalistic pride, but frankly mexicans have nothing to be proud about their goverment and their failure to demand what is owed to them. Mexico is abeautiful country with an incredible amount of resouces and all of it has been squandered becuase of this "no big deal" attitude.
Originally Posted by david b
But the point I was trying to make is that even if you had known about the permit requirement you might not have been able to obtain the necessary permission through INAH because of the inefficiency and incompetency of those folks.
I will also add that if I were from anywhere outside of Mexico City I would be terribly angry with the federal state for the way it plunders and sends to the capital virtually all indigenous artifacts from other regions of the country. Yes, there are some fascinating things in museums in Oaxaca, but if you want to look at any of the really significant artifacts from Monte Alban, the "danzantes" for example, guess where you will find them. Yep, D.F.
I love Oaxaca and its people, primarily zapotec/mixtec, and as you already have seen, there are wonderful photographic opportunities outside of INAH sites.
And don't miss the Tule tree in the nearby town of Tule. The sabino is said to be the largest tree, in terms of girth, in all of the Americas.
For the markets, color and Hasselblads work great.
Post some images when you can.
Last edited by sanking; 06-03-2005 at 07:14 PM. Click to view previous post history.
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Lucky you being down there and photographing. Too bad about the tripod deal tho, but, when in Rome do as the Romans. Maybe a pocket pod would have helped some? And btw, dont feel to bad; I get harassed standing on the sidewalk in Fort Lauderdale while taking architectural shots. Must be the red hair I guess. It attracts guards and police like donuts.
Jorge, I agree with you, we have the government we deserve.
As for me, the attitude you describe is not the mine. You did at the passport office the same as I would, and if more people in Mexico does like you did, and if more people in Mexico does a lot of other more important things besides fight bureaucracy, we will be a better country. It is in us, not in the government, to improve
But,if you want to photograph in an archeological site in Mexico with a tripod, up to now, YOU NEED A PERMIT. Period. Even if you are mad about it.
Hey all...just a little update.
Jose is feverishly helping me with this matter. I have been turned away at the botanical gardens because of copyright issues but Jose knows the designer and we are going to photograph him there this afternoon. He (the designer) knows some INAH people, so wish us luck.
The other project is the zocalo. The government here as decided to rip it up for no apparent reason and things are so bad, the head architect/designer pulled out yesterday. So this might be a thing to do.
Well....time to go....lots to do today.
Last night I developed 4 rolls of film from my evening at the botanical gardens.
APX 25 and rodinal 1+100 is awefully yummy.