Suburbia Mexicana is an ambitious documentary project rooted in photographer Alejandro Cartagena’s own experience of living and working in the city of Monterrey, Mexico.
Alejandro Cartagena photographs the particularities of the suburbs of Monterrey, Mexico, which are relatively new and often hastily built, reflecting a general disregard for planning. Over the years, various governmental policies resulted in new, decentralized cities with limited infrastructures where the pursuit of immediate financial gain trumped any interest in sustainability. Cartagena captures both the destruction that rapid urbanization has imposed on the landscape and the phenomenon of densely packed housing.
During the first 10 years of the 21st Century, Mexico put forward a housing project that resulted in the construction of hundreds of thousands of homes around his hometown of Monterrey. These are the representations of the fragmented cities that were built.
Ultimately Cartagena documents the chaos and destruction that result from scant or misguided urban planning. The ecological degradation of that plan can be seen in desiccating rivers and streams. Understanding that overdevelopment is not just a local problem, he works hard as an artist to share his photographs as one clear plea for responsible, sustainable development in a rapidly changing world.