"Latin American people have played an important part in what America is today."
Photographer Omar Z. Robles wants to remind us of Mexico's powerful beauty and cultural significance.
Like many other Americans, Robles had a difficult time stomaching the anti-Mexican, anti-immigrant rhetoric of Donald Trump throughout his presidential campaign. After hearing Mexicans labeled drug dealers, killers, and rapists, Robles decided to do something bold in opposition. In late October, he headed to Mexico City to capture some of its beauty on camera.
"Latin American people have played an important part in what America is today," says Robles. "I wanted to go to the source — Mexico City — and show Mexico in a different light that maybe people in America don’t usually see."
Robles used dancers from dance companies in Mexico City, most of whom had lived and worked there for over 15 years, to help elevate their surroundings. The shoot took place over 13 days from the end of October to the beginning of November, when Day of the Dead celebrations take place in the city.
Here are 14 stunning moments Robles captured:
1. Greta Elizondo in Cuernavaca, Morelos.
2. Greta Elizondo in Cuernavaca, Morelos.
3. Iratxe Beorlegui at the Monument to the Revolution, Mexico City.
4. Scarlet Güemez in Puerto Nuevo Nativitas, Xochimilco.
5. Ximena González in Coyoacán, Mexico City.
6. Mayuko Nihei in Zócalo, Mexico City.
7. Iratxe Beorlegui, Zócalo, Mexico City.
8. Edith Luna and Maria Fernanda Cervantes, in Zócalo, Mexico City.
9. Scarlet Güemez, Puerto Nuevo Nativitas, Xochimilco.
10. Monica Arroyo in Polanco, Mexico City.
11. Andrea Salazar in Cuernavaca, Morelos.
12. Mayuko Nihei in Plaza de la Constitución, Mexico City.
13. Julio Morel in Coyoacán, Mexico City.
14. Maria Fernanda Cervantes in Zócalo, Mexico City.
At a time when our president-elect wants to build a wall between the United States and Mexico, Robles is hoping his photographs open as many windows as possible — to remind the world why Mexico can't be shut out or forgotten.
"As artists, the best thing we can do at moments like this is just keep doing what we do," Robles says. "It serves as a way of projecting what we see that is wrong."