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Maximilian Virgili Documents His Emotional Encounter With Mexico

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Mexico: A Travel Essay
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After curiosity got the better of him, Berlin-based photographer Maximilian Virgili decided to visit Mexico last November, and captured in vivid, evocative detail the wonder of areas less affected by heavy tourism in the series: ‘México: A Travel Essay’.

Virgili’s new work comprises both color and black and white images taken in various spots across Mexico. After spending some time on the Caribbean coastline of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, the photographer flew with his partner to San Cristóbal de las Casas—a picturesque highlands town in the southern state of Chiapas. San Cristóbal sits in a small valley surrounded by hills, and because of the high altitude the air is very fresh. Virgili tells IGNANT about his experience here: It is a town “with a very rich culture and history. The city centre is full of small colorful houses with red tile roofs and cobblestone streets. The indigenous population is high in this area, which made it so interesting—and very different to the much more touristy parts in the eastern states of the country.”

After a flight cancellation and some changed plans due to roads affected by dangerous weather, the pair then ventured as far northeast as possible to Isla Holbox, a tiny island off the mainland coast of Yucatán. “It is still not heavily overrun with tourists, the main industry is fishing”, he explains. “The community was very present on Holbox, which made the experience on the island very diverse and authentic”. Virgili was warmed by the magnanimous nature of the locals and was impressed by their efforts to conserve natural resources. “I loved how considerate Méxicans were with their environment, a lot of trips were offered in very limited group sizes to prevent destruction and mass tourism, and preventing plastic whenever it was possible is a huge issue”. No vehicles are allowed on the island and wildlife habitats are respected highly. “All in all it was a very emotional encounter with the country, and I hope that my pictures reflect that in one way or another.”

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All images © Maximilian Virgili