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TERREMOTO: Mexico City, 1985

September 12 – December 9, 2018
Curator: Denise Birkhofer
University Gallery, Ryerson Image Centre

On September 19, 1985, Mexico City was ravaged by a massive earthquake, or terremoto, killing an estimated 10,000 people and leaving more than 250,000 homeless. This exhibition explores the tragedy from the multiple perspectives of photographers who covered the devastation, including both international and local photojournalists and young emerging artists. Drawn primarily from the RIC’s Black Star Collection, the photographs on view document the city’s destruction, the efforts of rescue brigades, the experiences of grieving survivors, and persistent homelessness in the aftermath. An important turning point in Mexican society, the terremoto bolstered sentiments of collectivity and social activism among citizens and photographers alike.

Fig. 1

Pedro Meyer, [Rescue workers at collapsed building, Mexico City], 1985, gelatin silver print. The Black Star Collection, Ryerson Image Centre