FOCUS Invites: Meet the curators

Kurt Hollander

Kurt Hollander is originally from New York City but has been living in Mexico City since 1989, and for the past three years divides his time between Mexico City and Cali, Colombia.

He is a writer and photographer, author of Several Ways to Die in Mexico City (Feral House 2012), and of the photo-books El Super (RM 2006) and Sonora: The Magic Market (RM 2008). His writing and photographs have been featured in The Guardian, Guernica, Los Angeles Times, LensCulture, Feature Shoot, Vice and elsewhere, and his photographs have been shown in solo and group shows in the USA, Mexico and Colombia. His series Tampico: A City Abandoned, was nominated for the 2015 Prix Pictet and was selected as one of the 10 best photo-essays by Domus (Italy).

For FOCUS Invites, Kurt presents


Tampico is a tropical city located on the Gulf of Mexico, traversed by canals, dotted with palm trees, graced with kilometers of undeveloped beach. It was the first major port in Mexico and was a producer of gas and oil for decades, both of which brought in great wealth to the city and led to the construction of the majestic historic center, with grand European 19th and 20th century architecture that rivaled New Orleans. When the oil dried up, Tampico’s economy collapsed and the historic center was in large part abandoned. The recent narco violence has transformed Tampico into one of the most dangerous cities in Mexico and has led to a new wave of abandonment.