Echele Ganas (Do Your Best): A Life Left Behind
On one level, Echele Ganas (Do Your Best): A Life Left Behind is a cultural model of a rural Mexican community that informs the American public about who these "immigrants" are, or who they were before they left home in search of economically satisfying opportunities in the North. On another, it shows the workers' sense of Mexican cultural identity, their pride in still being part of their community (which is enhanced when I show them the photographs and film clips of their families and community celebrations, and messages sent to them by their loved ones). It shows, too, the ways in which their communities are changing, often as a direct result of the financial aid they are able to send to their families.
"It would have been enough if Salzmann, an internationalist and a xenophile, had only showed American audiences what the Mexican countryside actually looks like––its houses, workshops, businesses, farms. It would have been enough if Salzmann had showed what Mexican cultural pride looks like––labors, weddings, celebrations, communal work events, gambling contests, first communions. But Salzmann has gone well beyond these things in his commitment to the ethics of meeting others, and treating others as fellows––not with self-righteousness or liberal moralism, but with a powerful modesty and a penetrating large-heartedness to match that of his subjects."
Hard Cover with DVD
by photographer Laurence Salzmann
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