• Moving forward, looking back

    Moving Forward, Looking Back is a documentary project focused on identity, based on memory and inspired by travel.

    I travelled across the states of New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, Utah, Nevada and California to explore the Spanish cultural legacy still present in the USA. I followed the route of the Old Spanish Trail, tracing the footsteps of trader Antonio Armijo, who in 1829-30 linked the Spanish colonial outposts of New Mexico and California. In an RV from 1984 and with Armijo’s brief diary in hand I traversed what it became the first recorded roundtrip across the Southwest.

    The early pioneers travelled this trail mainly to trade goods. Yet my intentions for this journey were not to exchange blankets and serapes for mules and horses, but to engage with Spanish descendants in order to share their stories and reveal the intangible heritage that still evokes Spanish culture in New Mexico and California. I was able to gain a clearer understanding of how the traditions of the first settlers have merged with local cultures and have influenced the creation and identity of today’s pueblos and modern cities.

    Many more journeys, some of them more metaphorical, have emerged during this trip; the journey across history, before and after the Spanish got to the Americas, the journey of the lives of the people I met during my travels, and also a journey of self-discovery through the perceptions of many people who feel proud of their heritage.