The Full Story About
Lotería is a popular Mexican game of chance, similar to bingo, that uses a deck of cards featuring images instead of plain numbers on ping pong balls. Each card has a name and an assigned number, but the number is typically ignored. To play, each player selects a tabla, a board with a randomly created 4 x 4 grid of pictures and corresponding names and numbers. Tablas can vary, as they are selected from a variety of previously created options.
The deck consists of 54 different images, each on a separate card. To start the game, the caller, also known as the cantor or singer, randomly selects a card and announces it to the players by name, sometimes using riddles or humorous patterns instead of reading the card's name. Players with a matching pictogram on their board mark it off with a chip or other marker. Traditionally, many Mexican people use small rocks, crown corks, or pinto beans as markers. The first player to complete a specific pattern, such as a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal row, squared pattern, or any other previously specified pattern, or fills the tabla first, shouts "¡Lotería!" (Lottery!)
My version of La Nueva Loteria is a creative parody of the classic game that showcases a photojournalistic and artistic perspective of Mexico and its vibrant street culture. The photo shoot took place over the course of a couple of years, between Mexico City, Guanjuato, and the northern state of Durango. I faced several challenges in capturing these images, including the need to travel to unfamiliar locations. During the shoot, I was even confronted by a man guarding an abandoned clandestine Narco graveyard on the outskirts of the city, and was almost attacked with a pickaxe. Despite the country's internal turmoil, Mexico is overall a very safe and welcoming country that has so much to see and explore.