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Sisters by photosbytony

Canvas Prints

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Sisters outside the entrance to their home.

In the late 60’s through the 70’s Mexico City was growing at a rate of 24000 people a month. Most of these people were from rural areas and were subsistence farmers. Many were not familiar with indoor plumbing, the only electricity they knew was a bare bulb sometimes hanging outside their palm thatched huts. They came for work and were unprepared for the city. Many settled in Shanty Towns, called Lost Cities in Mexico, on the outskirts of the city. Cardboard, plastic, corrugated metal and scrap wood homes huddled closely together with open sewers running between them. They were constantly harrassed by the police and told me at night bulldozers would sometimes collapse the walls of the exterior huts. The government wanted them to move saying they would build housing but the residents didn’t trust them and had nowhere to go. The leader of this settklement of 5000 people was a school teacher who lived in the center of the maze with uzzi carrying security at different checkpoints as you were led through the maze. I spent a day inside the one of these settlements in the early 70’s getting to know the people and photographing them. This is a fairly typical one room dwelling although they had a pretty big bed compared to others. There are more people living in shantytowns worldwide than any other time in history.

Tri-X Scanned Film, Nikkormat Camera with either a 50 or 35 mm lens


  • Martina Fagan
    Martina Faganover 3 years ago

    Great shot great info

  • Thank You Martina, it is amazing to me that the population of shantytowns is higher than it has ever been in history, seems we should be doing better. tony

    – photosbytony

  • oulgundog
    oulgundogover 3 years ago

    …and gun is still god!

  • Thanks Steve, unfortunately you’re right about the gun. tony

    – photosbytony

  • Jacqueline Ison
    Jacqueline Isonover 3 years ago

    I don’t know which is more stunning….your images which are incredible or reality which is searing…

  • Thank You Jacueline, unfortunately the reality today is worse than it was 40 years ago, more people live in Shantytowns now than ever in our history. tony

    – photosbytony

  • Jacqueline Ison
    Jacqueline Isonover 3 years ago


  • Thank you Jacqueline! tony

    – photosbytony

  • AndreaEL
    AndreaELover 3 years ago

    CONGRATULATIONS on your wonderful feature, amazing work.

  • Thank You Andrea, for me this is a special feature in a very unique group! tony

    – photosbytony

  • Isabela M. Lamuño
    Isabela M. Lamuñoover 3 years ago

    Amazing capture, Tony!!!! Wow.

  • Thank You for the great comment Isabela! tony

    – photosbytony

  • F.A. Moore
    F.A. Mooreover 3 years ago

    This is a real beauty, Tony! The rich values grab me, and the timelessness of sisterhood.
    I loved playing Annie Oakley, and I imagine the youngest is doing something similar with a toy gun.

  • Thank You Fannie, not sure it was Cowboys and Indians but it was the Mexican version for sure. I think it is pretty common around the world ! tony

    – photosbytony

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