José Sherwood González is a British/ Mexican artist and researcher, based at the University of Manchester in the UK.
The images presented here come from his ethnographic novel – Story of Mirrors – about Mexican family myths.
“Written and illustrated by British/Mexican artist researcher José Sherwood González, ‘Story of Mirrors’ is about the encounter with a family story that others would rather keep swept under the proverbial carpet. Tracing lines from oral storytelling traditions to pre-Hispanic codices, colonial ex-votive paintings, satirical nineteenth-century grabados from the Revolution and twentieth-century superheroes, this comic strip explores the shifts in perception from orality to visuality as a way to gain an intersubjective perspective of the intergenerational oral storytelling tradition in Mexico.
Matthew Gutmann writes that “[t]here have always been ‘many Mexicos’”; it is the responsibility of anthropologists to observe, learn and analyse cultural fragmentation in Mexico “as an historical and ongoing, creative process” (1992, 58-59). Interested in recording the mythos (imaginary, narrative knowledge) of Mexican family myths, this ethnographic novel brings together three different modalities: oral testimony, film and ultimately drawing to represent storied realities. Working within the realms of auto-ethnography, comics theory and the recent so-called “graphic narrative turn” in Anthropology (Dix & Kaur, 2019), ‘Story of Mirrors’ brings together a partial view of multiple perspectives in order to render visible the ambivalent and uncertain realities embedded within Mexican family myths.”