When we look at Graciela Iturbide’s photograph, we can see a man standing near a white wall, holding in his hand a belt that leads to a pig that is lying down on the sidewalk. This photograph reminds me of the political and economic situation in Mexico. The poor man that we are watching can represent many things, but he is so real that he haunts us. He has the necessity of being seen as himself, a working-class man who wants to control the pig that is controlling him.
Looking at her series of images, I saw this photo as the one I least wanted to analyze; it looks very simple, but as I focused on the details, I found more meaning. The meaning can be seen as a mirror of the reality, or can be heard as a song for justice.
The first thing I see in this picture is the white wall that looks old and dirty. The two lines that are dividing the wall make us concentrate on the man’s face. His profile is talking to us, saying us that he is tired, and he maybe wants to fight, but he has to control it. He is sad, and his ill face is thirsty for justice, opportunities, and a better country. At the same time, the pig and the man are expressing the same fatigue, but at least the pig is resting. The pig represents the government, politicians, or the misery. They both are having the same struggles but in a different way. The pig is there resting while the man impatient, tired, sad, beaten, is standing looking to nowhere to find a place.
The black and white picture invites us to see his clothes and his hat more than his face. We can see that the man has something under his jacket which I can barely see, but represents a part in this photography, and it could be a weapon. His face is not very clear and remains as an uncovered mystery.
The man is looking at his right side, which means that he is looking at some things that we can’t see but the context tells us. The walls are crying the dirt, and his lips are whispering a secret that is being shouted for millions of voices. He needs to repose, but his cargo is too heavy that he wants to walk a step beyond.
As we focus on the wall we can see the spots that look like fingerprints, it is inevitable to see how that wall is screaming, it could pass as a simple wall, but it is not. Those fingerprints are there because there has been a battle and someone could have lost their life, was a battle between the pig and the man, or just men? Is not that the same?
The wall itself has life that is begging to be heard, as the whole image. The pig lying down, resting, but claiming for not being free. The man that could be challenging a battle, but his invisible look is saying us that his surroundings make him oppressed and miserable. This image is giving us a message about violence, corruption, poverty, in a surreal way. A pig dominated by a man that difficulty can stand by himself. This image invites me to see the reality in Mexico as the scene of a surreal movie. The moment is frozen but we can imagine what is about to happen and what happened. This photograph is a “before and after” at the same time. This man is about to fall, the pig is going to die. Or both are going to fall asleep, as a cruel nightmare that we never wanted to happen.