Fascinating Series tells the Story of How a Crime-Ridden Town in Mexico Reclaimed Harmony

Sparks of light among the generally horrific news about Mexico are woefully rare. Toronto-based photographer Brett Gundlock has captured one such spark with El Pueblothe remarkable story of Cherán, a small town in Michoacán, whose residents drove out a group of cartel-associated loggers and took back their town.

Up until April 15, 2011, Cherán had been exploited by loggers who were working for a local cartel and trespassing on their land to illegally log the old-growth oak forest in and around Cherán. Doña Chepa, a Cherán local, had had enough. On this April morning, she and other inhabitants barricaded the road and defended their town, resisting gunfire from both the loggers and local police, finally driving them both to relent. Since that day, Cherán has controlled their own government and their own police force. Inspired by the success of the people of Cherán, regular citizens of other local towns created autodefensas—vigilante groups formed for purposes of self-defense—which have, incredibly, succeeded in eradicating cartel activity in this region

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CONTEST: Win a limited-edition "The Present" show catalogue

“The Present: We will worry about tomorrow, tomorrow” is just two days away, featuring new work from Brett, Ian and Aaron.

We’re giving away one of the limited-edition, 44-page show catalogues featuring the work of 20 Canadian documentary photographers. Starting today, post your Instagram, Instamatic or Twitter photos representing the theme “The Present” using the hashtag #Present2012 for a chance to win. Deadline is Tuesday, June 26 at 10am, with the winner announced shortly after.

“Originating with and tied to time and place, the photographs show much that transcends time and place: waiting and watchfulness, intimacy and isolation, closeness and solitude, public gesture and private reflection, celebration and loss; abandonment, departure, expectation or apprehension. Most images are full of light, and the catalogue has a remarkable unity: like any good documentary work, it engages with what is seen, and constantly reflects a concern for the human condition.”
- Don Snyder

Link: Facebook event page

Flash Forward 2012 - Selected Canadian Winners & Honourable Mentions

In anticipation of tonight’s Flash Forward 2012 exhibition and book launch, we’ve compiled links (where available) to the portfolios of this year’s fellow Canadian selected winners and honourable mentions. All links will open in a new tab in your browser. There’s a lot of inspiring work here, so get comfortable and take it in – and of course, you should come out to see some of it in person at tonight’s launch!

Selected Winners

Jasmine Bakalarz
Jeff Bierk
Lindsey Bond
Kotama Bouabane
Jamie Campbell
Alexandre Chabot & Jolianne L'Allier Matteau
Alicia Coutts
Gabriel Coutu-Dumont
Stacey Croucher
Nathan Cyprys
Anyse Ducharme
Laura Findlay
Jessica Ginzel
Brett Gundlock
Johan Hallberg-Campbell
Joseph Hartman
Kiana Hayeri
Lee Henderson
Alexi Hobbs
Jonathan Hobin
Ryan Enn Hughes
Brad Isaacs
Ana Kapodistria
Alex Kisilevich
Lissy Laricchia
JJ Levine
Peter Andrew Lusztyk
Lindsay Mackenzie
Isabel M. Martinez
Andreanne Michon
James Nizam
Ariane Paradis
Sabrina Russo
Stacey Tyrell
Ryan Walker

Honourable Mentions

Simon Belleau
Steven Beckly
Tanya Busse
Vuk Dragojevic
Shanon Fujioka
Emilie Karuna
Nick Kozak
Annie France Leclerc
Jesse Louttit
Joshua MacDonald
Louis Perreault
Karen Stentaford

June 23rd: "The Present" Exhibition

Brett, Ian and Aaron have new work displayed in an exhibition this Saturday, June 23rd in Toronto.

“The Present: We will worry about tomorrow, tomorrow.”

New work from:
Christopher Wahl
Tony Fouhse
Jordan Roberts
Andrew Williamson
Aaron Vincent Elkaim
Dominic Nahr
Eamon Mac Mahon
John Densky
Daniel Neuhaus
Josh McDonald
Alexi Hobbs
Brett Gundlock
Chloe Ellingson
Edward Terry
Eugen Sakhnenko
Guillaume Simoneau
Chris Dale
Ryan Walker
Ian Willms
Johan Hallberg Campbell

Mid-May, a group of documentary photographers were challenged to create new work related to the theme “The Present.” Photographs in this show were created between May 27 and June 10, 2012 and will be displayed at OZ Studios, 134 Ossington Ave. Toronto, from June 23 to the 30th, 2012.

Please join us for the opening June 23, 9 pm till late.

A variety of refreshments will be available for a small donation including: Muskoka Brewery Cream Ale, Lager, and Mad Tom IPA

A show catalogue (edition of 100) will be available for purchase at the gallery. Introduction written by Don Snyder.

This exhibition has been coordinated and curated by Andrew Williamson and Brett Gundlock.

Tunes by Liam Crockard.

Facebook event page