Yaz “Punk” Núñez
Filmmaker and photographer Yaz “Punk” Núñez is a graduate of the Centro Universitario de Estudios Cinematográficos of Mexico’s Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). As she says of her fascination with the visual, “Si pudiera contarlo con palabras, no necesitaría cargar con una cámara.” (“If I could say it in words, I would not have to carry a camera.”) Her photographs do say a lot about life in Mexico City through her arresting and sometimes surprising observations.
Kelley Tatro had been enjoying Nuñez’s photos for years on Facebook and Instagram when she and Nuñez began speaking informally about a collaboration for her book project. However, some obstacles presented themselves. Until more recently, Nuñez did not own a decent camera, but was snapping pictures on a cheap cell phone. As a result, most of the images Nuñez provided for this book date from 2017 or after. Because of the timing, the photographs are more recent than the fieldwork experiences I describe in the text. Certainly, the cityscape has changed over time.
Tatro’s and Nuñez’s approaches are also different. Nuñez doesn’t shy away from capturing people’s faces in her images, while Tatro prefers to keep people anonymous in her writing. In the captions to her photos, however, Nuñez refrains from naming people, not wanting—as she put it—to cast any individual in the role of protagonist.
Ultimately, Nuñez’s photographs are not meant to illustrate the text, but provide her own perspectives on life in the city and its punk scene.
Nuñez has drawn the photos from a collection she calls “Crónicas de Ozías” (Chronicles of Uzziah), an obscure figure from the Old Testament, a king who was punished for disregarding God’s will.