ISBN: 978-0-9924302-3-8

In 2014, 13-year-old Ariel and 14-year-old Anatoly Reyes travelled to Mexico for an extended holiday with their mother, Melbourne photographer Tania Jovanovic. In exchange for a prolonged break from schoolwork, they each agreed to spend time on a personal photographic project. ‘Beetles/Virgins’ (2 separate books under one cover), brings together their individual assignments focussing on two ubiquitous features of the Mexican landscape – the Volkswagen Beetle and the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe.

La Virgen De Guadalupe, the giver of miracles, is a revered symbol of Mexican faith and identity, which incorporates both Catholic and Aztec symbolism. From patios in private homes across all socio-economic areas, through to carparks, street corners, houses of Parliament and of course churches all over Mexico, images of the Virgin are everywhere. Octavio Paz has said ‘After centuries of failures, the only thing Mexicans believe in are the Virgin of Guadelupe and the national lottery.’

21 million Volkswagen Beetles were produced in Mexico over a 40-year period (1954 -2004). The Beetle was as much a stereotypical feature of the Mexican landscape as tacos and cactus and at one stage in the late 20th century half of Mexico’s taxis were ‘vochos’ as they are known there. Although the Beetle is still a common sight on Mexican roads, they can no longer be used as taxis and most Mexicans are melancholy at the speed at which they are disappearing.

Published by M.33, Melbourne, 2015

1 Beetle-cover

Limited edition: 200
68 pages
250 x 200mm
Edited by Helen Frajman
Designed by Grace Camobreco Reyes
Soft Cover: $31.82 (+ gst in Australia)