Doheny opens Mexican Revolution photo exhibit

The Gustavo Casasola Foundation and USC Libraries came together to kick off the “¡Viva La Cámara!” exhibit at Doheny Memorial Library Wednesday night and, coincidentally, Mexican Independence Day.

“¡Viva la Cámara!” is a photo exhibit documenting the height and conclusion of the Mexican Revolution.

The event was hosted by Professor Liana Stepanyan. Guest speakers were UCLA Professor Maarten Van Delden and accomplished photojournalist Gustavo Casasola.

Many of the photos were taken by the Casasola family during the Mexican Revolution. Now, Gustavo Casasola owns all of them.

Casasola has a large private collection and also allows his family’s archive to be shown around the world. He has decided to display some of his pictures on the Ground Floor Rotunda of Doheny Memorial Library through Dec. 16.

Emily Jetter, a senior majoring in psychology, believes that all students should come see these photos.

“Students should come see this because it is an important part of our culture here in Los Angeles, [where] there is a big Mexican influence,” she said. “Also, this exhibit shows the importance of courageous journalists to document these things.”

Preceding the exhibit, Van Delden and Casasola gave a history of the Mexican Revolution.

During the time of the revolution, photojournalists used the reflex camera to capture key photos of the events and its aftermath.

These photos captured the conflict between the leaders of rebel armies, as well as the social struggles of daily life. The Casasola family, who ultimately established the first news agency in Mexico City, took many photos during the time of the revolution.

Casasola spoke on the role of photojournalists, many of whom included his own family members, during this time. He spoke in Spanish, but his words were translated.

Casasola said that, “reporters were unprotected and vulnerable.” Many of them risked and sacrificed their lives for some of these pictures.

Adam Espinoza, a freshman majoring in computer science and business administration, said that the exhibit gave him an important historical perspective on journalism.

“It is very interesting to see the journalists out there on the front lines,” he said. “You see a lot of parallelism between the journalists in today’s age who go out on the battle lines and record events.”

Espinoza said he felt that the exhibit gives students an important cultural insight into Hispanic history.

“This is important so students of different backgrounds can understand cultural relativism. I truly believe that if you live in this area, then you should come see this exhibit to learn about this era in Mexico,” he said. “It is also Hispanic Heritage Month, so that is another reason for students to come out and involve themselves.”

The full Gustavo Casasola Foundation archive is open to researchers, students, educational institutions and others.