Cruztón, San Juan Chamula, Chiapas, 1979
The photography of Genaro Sántiz is noted for a striking elegance. He explores his native Chamula culture critically and, frequently, with a wonderful sense of humor.
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Sántiz took up photography as a boy, instructed by his older sister, Maruch Sántiz and his passion for the camera led him to seek training at the Chiapas Photography Project (CPP), where he later became a teacher to other Tsotsil-speakers in the Highlands of Chiapas.
Upon finishing secondary school in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Sántiz went to the United States in the first decade of the 2000’s to work and to explore trends in photography, a medium crucial to cultural developments in that country.
Upon returning to Chiapas, Sántiz renewed his photographic exploration of the culture and natural elements of Chamula and the rest of Chiapas His has become the “impossible” eye looking at itself, an “insider-outsider-insider”, more critical than nostalgic, always engaged and committed to understanding and deconstructing Chamula-Mayan culture.
Genaro’s photo-essay publication “Pox: a traditional liquor of Chiapas” (2005), looks at the alcoholic beverage and its religious and cultural uses. It has proved to be an important contribution to Native American-conceived ethnography, within the contemporary artistic tradition.
Genaro Sántiz has exhibited in Mexico, the United States and Europe, and his work forms part of the collection of the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art (Eugene, Oregon).