What happens when you put a photographer in front of the camera? Well, very good things. Especially when the subject is a documentary photographer Masha Osipova. Born in Moscow and grown up in Amsterdam, this talented young lady moved to Mexico with a heartfelt mission and a unique perspective. Among several intriguing projects, Masha’s long-term documentary work is about the Lacandon Maya, a group of people living in the state of Chiapas and deriving their name from the Lacandon Jungle, which lies along the Mexican side of the Usumacinta River and its tributaries. The Lacandon are one of the most isolated and culturally conservative of Mexico’s native peoples. Almost extinct in 1943, today their population has grown significantly, yet remains small, at approximately 650 speakers of the Lacandon language.
Having previously embarked on personal expeditions to the homeland of Lacandon Maya, Masha will currently be based in San Cristobal de las Casas. There she will collaborate with Casa Na Bolom, a non-profit organization, museum and research center founded by the late archeologist Frans Blom and his photographer wife Gertrude Duby Blom. The center is also dedicated to the protection of Lacandon Maya and preservation of Chiapas rain forest.
I want to thank Masha for her quick and genuine friendship, for sharing with me her story, and for greatly inspiring me in the process! I also want to take this opportunity to showcase Masha Osipova’s website with previous work completed in Russia, Europe and Iraq, as well as her blog.