Estamos Buscando A navigates a personal exploration into the migrant experience along the U.S. – Mexico border region with a series of intimate portraits, landscape photographs, illustrations, maps, advisories and personal narratives. The book was designed to reference the migrant safety guides that are given to migrants by Grupos Beta and the Instituto Nacional de Migración of the Mexican government.
51 photographs + 8 illustrations
Illustrations by Tim Schafer
100 pages, 7-1/4 x 5-1/4 inches
10-1/2 x 14-1/2 inch folded map
6 x 5 inch aluminum plate in a folder – Limited Edition
Spanish and English
Paris Photo – Aperture Foundation First PhotoBook Award, 2016 (Shortlisted)
New York Times – The Best Photo Books of 2016
Ivorypress – The Best Books of 2016
Humble Arts Foundation – the 17 Best Socially Concerned Photobooks of 2016
With a design and scale meant to emulate pamphlets printed by the Mexican government that target people trying to emigrate to the United States, Estamos Buscando A (We’re Looking For) delicately navigates the uncertainty of migration. “The topic of the migrant, at this time, is so important,” Wiesner notes. “The way the format references these pamphlets is a very intelligent way to deal with this topic.”
Through a combination of beautifully seen black-and-white landscapes and portraits alongside maps illustrations, and instructions (sections include “Be Careful of Smugglers,” “If You Are Detained,” etc.), this book cleverly captures the plight of the modern-day migrant. Each of the photographs is marked with a number that corresponds to a location along the U.S. – Mexico border that can be found on the foldout map provided. Turounet transports us to where the unknown seems both dangerous and worthy of risk.
– The PhotoBook Review #011, Fall 2016, Aperture Magazine
Estamos Buscando A (We’re Looking For) is an account of the human cost of the various impediments — walls, fences and natural features — along the Mexico-United States border. In this sense, it is similar to Misrach’s “Border Cantos.” But Turounet’s little book shows things largely from the Mexican side, mostly in Sonora, which borders Arizona. It features a number of portraits of migrants or would-be migrants and written accounts of what the photographer himself saw over many years of studying their crossings.
The book, with text in Spanish and English, is ingeniously put together in the form of a guidebook, the kind of thing an NGO or government might issue to people thinking of walking across. The text warns them not to do it, counseling them, instead, to seek legal means of entry. But, wise to human obstinacy and desperation, it also offers them advice on how to proceed if they must, whom to avoid, how to prevent heat stroke and so on. Alongside Turounet’s photographs are a number of illustrations by Tim Schafer. It all makes for an unforgettable act of witness in a compact package.
– Teju Cole, The Best Photo Books of 2016, New York Times