Interview with the Phoblographer: Alejandra Rajal’s Eye for Important Stories Landed Her a Fujifilm Grant

I was interviewed by the Phoblographer about my creative process and work in photography. Here is an extract: “It’s a very internalized process and usually takes me months before I even start sharing my ideas,” says documentary photographer Alejandra Rajal when talking about her motivations for a particular story. She adds, “I also try to feed the idea, mostly through literature and visual art…” Rajal isn’t one to rush into a project, especially those that are delicate and need telling in a certain way.... Alejandra Rajal's Eye for...

A man looks for the path of the cannabis business in Mexico

Between 2020 and 2021, we traveled to the north of Mexico to meet Benito Contreras, an entrepreneur looking to enter the legal cannabis industry in Mexico. There's a catch: his brother-in-law is Vicente Carrillo, a former leader of the Juárez drug cartel. "It is not my fault that my sister fell in love," says Benito, who seeks to be the mediator of two worlds that seem to repel each other. He founded a cannabis research center and has surrounded himself with scientists, doctors and growers to gain entry into the medicinal market, which is just getting on its feet....

EL PAIS: Harvest of flowers for Day of the Death

I went to San Félix Hidalgo a small town in Atlixco to visit the families before and during the harvest of the flowers used during the Day of the Death. Fotos: Cosecha de flores para el Día de Muertos, en imágenes  En el municipio de Atlixco, Puebla, cientos de familias se dedican al cultivo de flores para recordar a sus difuntos, una de las tradiciones más importantes en la cultura mexicana
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for El Pais: Jovita´s fight: Trying to release her son from prison...

Uriel, Jovita´s son, was imprisoned for 9 months during the pandemic after being charged with attempted robbery with violence. However, he claimed he was innocent and was wrongfully charged. His mother, Jovita, fought for months to get him release through the "Amnesty law" in Mexico, finally, a few weeks ago he was released. 
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ASSIGNMENT for El Pais: A female Doctor died after two hours with the police.

Last week I worked on an extremely sad story about a female doctor who was detained by the police in Hidalgo, Mexico after a car accident and two hours later from her detention, the police "found" her dead. These stories are never easy to tell, Beatriz was a brilliant and kind woman who had so much to live for. Her family is trying to find the culprits in her death and they are denying the version the police has given about a possible suicide.  Las dos horas con la policía que acabaron con la vida de la médica Beatriz Hernández...
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EXHIBIT / Mexico City / D-P-V: The failed war.

With the support of Vist Projects and Fundación Gabo. My work along with 15 photographers is being exhibited at the Centro de la Imagen in Mexico City. The exhibition is about drugs, politics and violence in Latam. And will take you to different countries like Mexico, Bolivia, Ecuador, Argentina... and how the drugs like marijuana, poppy, coca, cocaine... have played a role in them. I´m so honored and happy to share space with friends and colleagues: Sara Aliaga, Johis Alarcon, Gena Steffens, Cesar Rodriguez, Yael Martínez, Santi Carneri, Nicolás Janowski, Jorge...
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What working from home looks like around the world

Rest of World published a collaborative project with 8 photographers around the world to tell the stories of how home-office looks like for different people in different countries. I photographed the story of Nancy Velasco who lives in Ecatepec, Mexico. She is a rancher singer who works in Mexico City and after all the parties and public events were prohibited to avoid the spread of the virus, she had to start thinking of new ways to work and began to give serenades through live and recorded videos. What working from home looks like around the world From a florist in Tehran to a...
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Mexico Could Soon Become the Largest Legal Marijuana Market in the World

My latest publication for The Nation. I´ve been working on this story for a year with writer Maya Averbuch. The path to marijuana legalization in Mexico is getting closer every time, despite the pandemic and the extended deadlines the Senate and Congress have asked for. This story was possible thanks to the support of Fundación Gabo´s New Narratives on Drugs Investigative Journalism Fund. Mexico Could Soon Become the Largest Legal Marijuana Market in the World But activists say the law fails to address the widespread pain that decades of militarized enforcement...

Open Gallery: Migration in Mexico

Thankful for the invite from Fundación Femsa and Districto Tec to take part in the exhibition about migration in Mexico called "Los otros lados" (The other places) that showcases the life of migrants crossing Mexico through the perspective of 7 female photographers. The Open Gallery is taking place in Técnologico de Monterrey in Monterrey, Nuevo León. Muestran 'los otros lados' de la migración Abre DistritoTec exposición fotográfica en Galería Abierta que invita a conocer mejor a migrantes que pasan por Nuevo...

Women Photograph: 2020 Year in Pictures

Oriana Koren , photo-ethnographer, writer, and curator of the 2020 Year in Pictures writes: The one hundred photographs by one hundred women  —  across gender expression and identity, across that pseudo-science fiction we call race, across geography, region, and location, across the spectrum of age and the spectrum of human experience  —  have come together to illustrate for us what it looks like to become human in the age of a pandemic and on the precipice, not of impending extinction, but of imminent evolution. The entire world is upside down ,...

VICE: People talk about Cannabis Legalization in Mexico

"On November 19, the Senate of Mexico took a historic step by approving a ruling that would legalize the adult use of cannabis in the country. The bill includes not only the ability to legally buy and consume marijuana but also to grow it at home, obtain licenses to grow it in the field, sell plant-based products, and conduct research. Now all eyes are on the Chamber of Deputies, which will still have to debate the opinion and make a decision. If approved, it will come to the hands of the President, who will determine if it finally becomes a law." - Maya Averbuch. In the last...


I was invited by FOTODEMIC to write about the fight of women in my hometown for the right to choose. This is a very personal story about recent events and reminds me of the importance of small battles and their power to create change.  Something Unusual Happened in Puebla — FOTODEMIC by Alejandra Rajal from Puebla, México Something Unusual Happened in Puebla — FOTODEMIC by Alejandra Rajal from Puebla, México

The Connected World - LACP Exhibit

I´m happy to take part in this exhibit by the Los Angeles Center of Photography along with fellow Visura members and friends: Juan Carlos and Andrés Yepez.  "In response to the extraordinary changes occurring in 2020 the Los Angeles Center of Photography (LACP) is partnering with the Museum of Photographic Arts (MOPA) in San Diego to acknowledge the importance of photography and art in capturing historic world events. To that point, LACP and MOPA will co-host a free-to-enter online Salon of Photography, entitled “The Connected World: 2020,” capturing the...
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Mirar Distinto Talk

I´ll be talking today at "Mirar Distinto" Festival 7pm Central Time about "Documenting within Home" through Facebook Live with 4 amazing photographers: Saraí Ojeda, César Rodriguez, Sebastian López Brach, and Glorianna Ximendaz. Log In or Sign Up to View See posts, photos and more on Facebook.

Participating in my first podcast

Cesar Rodriguez has started a new project called "Los Libros de los fotógrafos" (The books of photographers) a Spanish-speaking podcast were we talk about literature and how it influences our lives and work. Please feel free to listen I was one of the invitees but there are also amazing photographers who have been featured like Alicia Vera, Andrea Hernandez Briceño, Musuk Nolte, and Hector Guerrero.  Los Libros de los Fotógrafos - Alejandra Rajal Listen to this episode from Los libros de los fotografos on Spotify. Los Libros de los...
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Mexican families mourn workers claimed by Covid in the US

In the last weeks, I´ve been working on a story in my hometown about the impact Covid-19 has had in migrant families in Puebla, Mexico after the repatriation of 250 urns from the tri-state area, 105 of them belonging to Puebla. Thank you to the Martinez and Trinidad families for opening their houses and sharing the stories of Juan and Arnulfo, in hopes their stories can highlight the reality of migrant workers in the USA and also bring awareness to Mexicans about the virus.  Mexican families mourn workers claimed by Covid in the US – photo essay In July, the...
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The Changing Environment Exhibition

A collective digital exhibit of Native Agency photographers from Latinoamerica about projects that talk about the Changing Environment we are facing. In collaboration with the Umweltbildungszentrum Kienbergpark (Environmental Education Center Kienbergpark) in Berlin, Germany. Very happy to share this space with my fellow Natives: Ana Vallejo (Col), Camila Falcão (Bra=, Liliana Merizalde (Col), Daniela Olave (Col) and Celeste Alonso (Arg). Native Foundation |

The psychiatrist at the centre of the opioid crisis

My latest work for Nature photographing the brilliant Nora Volkow in her childhood home (now a museum) in Mexico City where her great grand-father Leon Trotsky lived during his last years of exile. The psychiatrist at the centre of the opioid crisis Nora Volkow leads the world’s biggest funder of addiction research at a time when the United States is grappling with a devastating surge in drug use.
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"How to lead" for The Financial Times

Subscribe to read | Financial Times Last month writer Jude Webber and I, went to the headquarters of Orbia one of the biggest producers of industrial plastics to talk with their CEO Daniel Martinez-Valle, about how industrial companies can work too towards a more sustainable planet.
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The Brotherhood of Nazarenes featured in NatGeo

Very excited to share a part of my long-term project with National Geographic. I started to work with the brotherhood/confraternity a year ago as part of a personal project "Cultus" that seeks to understand the spectrum of beliefs within the same faith. A quote from Alice Driver , who wrote a magnificent text regarding the procession and the brotherhood: "Founded in 1545, the Brotherhood’s primary purpose was to spread and strengthen Catholicism, which was brought to Mexico by Spanish conquistadors. During the 1861 Reform Laws, which separated church and state, the...

Flash Sale: Support ONG´s helping families on the border

Colectivo Liminal is doing a flash sale to support the work Alerta Migratoria and Al otro lado are doing to keep families together in the border between Mexico and USA. They gathered together photographers who have work on the issue somehow and pulled together a gallery. I will be selling one of my photos too. The cost to support buying a photo is $45, please consider sharing and supporting this cause!  Thank you.   Shop Colectivo Liminal is an organic network of journalists and photographers throughout the Americas. This photo sale is our response to the...

NPR: Violence in Mexico

I would like to share, the visual work I did for NPR which was published today. I went to Tepoztlán, Morelos in Mexico to document the story and absence of Albino Quiroz after his kidnapping in March 2017. Until this day he remains disappeared while his family keeps looking for him by all means possible.         Last Year, A Retired Mexican Schoolteacher Vanished. His Family Still Seeks Answers           Albino Quiroz Sandoval left home to go shopping last year and never returned. A man has been arrested, but most crimes in...

Open House Mexico City (OHCDMX)

Last weekend Mexico City had its first OPEN HOUSE, a worldwide event that started in London in 1992 with a two-day weekend event where people get the opportunity of experiencing great architectural spaces for free. Founder Victoria Thornton arrived to the mexican capital to welcome the city to the family of Open House. I had the opportunity of working for this great event as the photographer to document the interaction between people and space, so I wanted to share some of my favorite photos with the community. 
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IWMF Instagram takeover on Every Day Latin America / March

The IWMF has been doing a takeover on the account of Everyday Latin America on March to show the work from its members and fellows, I shared a photo of my project on Gender Violence in Mexico.  And also I want to extend an invitation for you to take a look at the work of all these amazing women who are sharing and talking about important topics happening in Latin America. Everyday Latin America on Instagram: "Durante marzo, @theiwmf - International Women's Media Foundation- hará un takeover de la cuenta de @everydaylatinamerica con fotografías"¦" 444 Likes, 4 Comments -...

The independent rise

Jan 18, 2018. Each time more and more independent candidates are emerging within the Mexican political environment as a response of decades of perpetuated corruption, violence and classism. Puebla known for being a conservative and quiet state is starting to create a strong and united front to run for the government, the capital´s municipality and several congressional districts. This new situation only shows how the negative impact of the current government has touched every corner of the country.

Summer highlights

Last month I had the opportunity of being a student at the Foundry Photojournalism Workshop in Mexico City. I wanted to share a little bit of my experience there and the project I worked on: Since we have only 5 days to develop everything I came with the idea of bringing a new project I would like to keep developing afterwards, and using these days as a learning curve to see what work and what didn´t, new approaches and of course getting the important feedback of my mentors: Oscar Castillo and Natalie Keyssar . If it wasn´t good already I had the opportunity to have a portfolio...
#Events #Journals

Instagram feature with Native Agency

Native Agency is featuring on Instagram my on-going project on religion called: "Cultus". This is a series I took last year while travelling with Toño a 17 year old teenager from Puebla, who did the pilgrimage to the Basilica of Our Lady Guadalupe for the first time. I wanna thank them for the opportunity to tell this story.

2017 Holy Week / México

Is that time of the year, tomorrow I'll be here again as part of my long-term project on faith and religion, photographing the Good Friday procession that takes place in Puebla, Mexico, which is one of the biggest religious events in Latin America. I´m looking forward to share my work in the following days, wish me luck! The only downside is the sun, it gets very hot in here!

Participant for the NATIVE AGENCY & IWMF Documentary Festival

Happy to announce I have been selected to attend the first Documentary Festival in Ecuador, Quito by Native Agency and IWMF along with other 22 amazing photographers.  Can´t wait to be there!
#Awards #News

Women´s March / Mexico City

Some of the photos I took for the  #womensmarch  in Mexico City. Hundreds of people gathered outside the US embassy to take part in the global march, Mexicans and Americans marched together screaming chants in both: English and Spanish.

La Guadalupana

12th of December is coming, and in Mexico it means: "Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe" also known as "The Mexican Virgin" . She is one of the most beloved religious figures for Mexicans, who travel each year by bus, car, feet and even knees to meet her at the Basilica of Guadalupe, and ask her or thank her for all kinds of favors. I´ll be following the pilgrimage of a family from Puebla City to Mexico City between the 11th and the 12th  of December and posting on my social networks the process. I would like to invite you all to follow it. Have a great weekend!
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Alejandra Rajal

Alejandra Rajal is a freelance documentary photographer based in Mexico.
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