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Saddle Up: Moving Forward, Looking Back travels the Old Spanish Trail

The Cathedral in downtown Santa Fe
Matt Wright
The Cathedral in downtown Santa Fe

Janire Nájera apparently likes her road trips 19th-century-style. The Spanish photojournalist and curator is taking a cue from Antonio Armijo—who laid the groundwork for successful trade along what's now known as the Old Spanish Trail when he successfully hoofed it from New Mexico to California and back (and managed to make a profit in the process)—with a voyage through northern New Mexico, parts of Utah and Arizona, and into Southern California. For the journey, Nájera's own pack animal of choice is an RV from 1984, a bit of an upgrade from the 100 mules of Armijo's trip in 1829-1830. Her goals are social and artistic in nature as she explores, according to the description on her website, how “the traditions of the first settlers [of European descent] ... have merged with domestic cultures, influencing the creation and identity of today's pueblos and modern cities.”

Nájera's journey began in Santa Fe on March 10, and she's already building a fascinating portrait of modern-day descendants of our region's Spanish heritage. See Nájera's video below featuring Julia Gómez talking about the famous Colcha stitch, and her latest blog entry has another great one with Santa Fe hairdresser Faustino Herrera de Vargas, entirely in Spanish, speaking about his storied life.

Janire Nájera
Julia Gómez at the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art on the Colcha stitch

Follow Janire Nájera's travels along the Old Spanish Trail at her blog Looking Forward, Moving Back, and keep a weather eye out for the book and photography exhibit that will be the eventual result.

More Videos

V.23 No.9 | 2/27/2014

Book Review

Keep Calm and Read

The Jesus Lizard Book

Vicarious thrills await disciples of Yow and co. in this gorgeous trip down memory lane.

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V.23 No.5 | 1/30/2014
“At Segregated Drinking Fountain, Mobile, Alabama”
Gordon Parks

Arts Feature

In Living Color

Photography series breaks open 1950s segregation

The images that appear in Gordon Parks’ Segregation Series deliver a powerful blow against the segregation and racism once prevalent in the South.

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“42 Horse” by Ralph Greene

Culture Shock

A horse is a horse, of course

Culture Shock zooms you around the city creative to East Meets West, Testimonios de una Guerra and Roll, Drop, Bounce.

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news

The Daily Word in Golden Globes, mile-marker 420 and the Handsome Family

Who won at the 2014 Golden Globes?

On top of everything else, is there trouble in Obama’s marriage?

A Japanese company is buying Jim Beam.

Did Christie misuse Sandy relief funds?

Tiny windmills generate power.

In Colorado, people keep stealing mile marker 420.

Ellen De Generes, who will host the 2014 Oscars, has been linked to internet pirating of movie screening copies.

Discover the secret world of zit-popping videos.

If you were thinkging about photographing tiny plastic people, somebody beat you to it.

The dark side of the moon is turquoise.

Blessed be. Enjoy these photos of modern-day witches.

Turn your car into a tank.

Rest in peace, Sam Berns.

An arrest was made in the flash-mob robbery of Angel Eyes boutique on San Pedro.

David Eckert will receive a $1.6 million settlement for receiving unlawful anal probings.

HBO taps Albuquerque’s Handsome Family for the “True Detective” theme song.

Happy birthday Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

V.23 No.1 | 1/2/2014
Painting the swan
Lance Ryan McGoldrick

Culture Shock

Blackbird buffaloed

See some art, be some art, and give the gift of art with this week’s Culture Shock.

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PHOTOS

An Education Without Borders

Winning photograph speaks volumes

Winning photo by UNM art education graduate student Junfu Han
Winning photo by UNM art education graduate student Junfu Han

An older Latina woman stands clutching a telephone pole painted with colors of the American flag in a border town of the Southwestern United States. She’s expressionless except for a squinting of her dark eyes during the midday sun. Her gaze is slightly off camera and a silver cross is half hidden under her blouse. Her left wrist is bandaged, yet she doesn’t seem broken. Rather, she's solid and stoic with an unassuming strength. The author of this photograph is Junfu Han, a UNM Art Education graduate student and the winner of the 1st Annual International Education Week photo contest.

During the week of Nov. 11, UNM’s Global Education Office hosted International Education Week, and unlike previous years, this year’s event included the photo contest. The week focuses on the benefits of studying abroad and celebrates the diversity of UNM students. Photographers entered the contest, whose theme was “International Experiences,” with portraits, landscapes, architecture, street photography, abstract or experimental pictures. Han’s striking composition of the Latina woman in the Chihuahuita community in El Paso, TX was declared the winner with its portrayal of American mythos and Mexican experiences on the border.

V.22 No.46 | 11/14/2013

Book Review

Embracing the Decisive Moment

David Muench's National Parks

Landscape photographer David Muench captures what once was and will never be again.

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V.22 No.44 | 10/31/2013
Mos Def photographed by David Scheinbaum

Art News

Marriage Has Two Lenses to Benefit the 516

Two photographers with strikingly different styles and subject matter—who just happen to be married—unveil new photobooks to benefit 516 Arts.
View in Alibi calendar calendar

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V.22 No.41 | 10/10/2013
Ungelbah Davila
Carrie Tafoya

Community Profile

Ungelbah Davila

Talking earthy beginnings, rockabilly and the birth of La Loca Magazine

Alibi intern Rebecca Gonzales introduces us to local storyteller Ungelbah Davila.

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