Going beyond the stereotypes, Tripod City capture the cities of Mexico, focusing on the everyday experiences of real people.

Going beyond the stereotypes, Tripod City capture the cities of Mexico, focusing on the everyday experiences of real people.

When it comes to capturing Mexico as a country, few people have got it right. Usually, the photographs focus on the exoticisation of the landscape or a repeated set of tropes – a portrayal of stereotypes from the perspective of an outsider. Which is why Sweet Dreams, the new book by photo collective Tripod City, is such a breath of fresh air.

The images, captured by photographers Paul Storrie, Chris Lee and Charlie Kwai, steer clear of stereotypes, turning their lenses instead to the real people of the city. “A big part of the collaboration is about going to places that you feel you really know, but have never been,” Charlie tells Huck. “For example, when you say Mexico people think: Cactus, tequila, cowboys, beaches…very stereotypical things. Is that really well-informed? Probably not. So we went there and put those theories to the test.”

“Some were actually very true, some weren’t at all. A lot of the news when we were there was about the cartels and the drugs and stuff, and like yes, it’s definitely a thing, but it didn’t dominate our trip the way we assumed it would. So it’s about demystifying a few things and turning the attention on more positive things.”

Paul Storrie

Paul Storrie

Chris Lee

Chris Lee

The three photographers met in college 13 years ago, before going on to study at Central Saint Martins together. Their styles of shooting create a multifaceted perspective of wherever they’re visiting: Paul creates spontaneous posed portraits, while Chris shows the interaction of people with their environment, from a distance. Charlie shoots up close and personal, capturing a moment that can only happen once.

Sweet Dreams – created in collaboration with designer Bruce Usher and being funded via Kickstarter now – explores “love, life and death”, using the Day of the Dead as a starting point.

Sweet Dreams is a good title for a fairy tale – you can say sweet dreams to who you love, like good night, you can say sweet dreams to someone who’s just died and is never gonna wake up again,” Charlie adds. “So there’s a double meaning, it’s positive and negative at the same time. We saw Mexico as love and death combined in the same breath, basically. And everything’s pink as well, so it’s sweet.”

Charlie Kwai

Paul Storrie

Charlie Kwai

Charlie Kwai

Charlie Kwai

Charlie Kwai

Chris Lee

Chris Lee

Charlie Kwai

Charlie Kwai

Chris Lee

Chris Lee

Sweet Dreams: Love, life & death in Mexico by Tripod City is being funded on Kickstarter right now. 

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