Today.Az » Arts & Entertainment » Mexico through eyes of photographer
23 March 2023 [11:54] - Today.Az
As a saying goes, it's better to see something once than to hear about it a thousand times. Mexico is well off the radar of many travel photographers, like Aydin Sadixov.
The photographer has showcased his photos taken in Mexico as part of the "Architectural masterpieces of the world" project.
Launched by Italy-Azerbaijan Design Center and Azerbaijani photographer, art-curator Aydin Sadixov at the Azerbaijan University of Architecture and Construction last November, the project focuses on the main architectural features and styles of the architectural heritage of different countries.
It consists of a series of individual cultural events dedicated to architectural masterpieces and heritage from around the world.
Each event features a photo exhibition and presentation, which provides a great opportunity to learn more about incredible architectural masterpieces and their role in the development of world architecture.
Three exhibitions dedicated to Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Poland were successfully held last year within the project with the support of the embassies of the countries represented.
After a short winter break, the project has returned to the Azerbaijan University of Architecture and Construction with an even more interesting and rich program.
This year, it is planned to hold at least events, which will include bright photo exhibitions, as well as informative presentations with new and interesting speakers.
The fourth event within the project was devoted to Mexico's ancient architectural masterpieces.
The Mexican embassy in Azerbaijan became the organizer of the event, which took place at the Azerbaijani University of Architecture and Construction.
The photo exhibition included 20 magnificent photographs by the famous photographer and the project curator Aydin Sadixov. The exhibition plunged the visitors into the mysterious and wonderful world of Mexican historical and architectural masterpieces.
Rector of the University of Architecture and Construction Professor Gulcohra Mammadova, Mexican Ambassador to Azerbaijan Maria Victoria Romero Caballero, Director of the Italy-Azerbaijan Design Center Farid Karimov, and the project curator, photographer and traveler Aydin Sadixov welcomed the guests of the event.
In his speech, Aydin Sadikhov noted that each event this year will be special and unique in its content.
"As part of the exhibition, I have demonstrated around 20 magnificent photographs that provide insight into the historical and architectural masterpieces of Mexico. I would like to note that Baku has previously hosted photo exhibitions dedicated to Mexico's remarkable sights. However, all of them highlighted the Mexican architecture of the later period. Unlike previous ones, this exhibition is the first photo project in Azerbaijan that demonstrates Mexico's ancient architecture," Aydin Sadixov told Azernews.
He also recalled that the previous events within the project were about the architecture of European countries. The event devoted to Mexico is the first event within the project that takes us across the Atlantic Ocean to the very heart of the American continent.
"Mexico is a country with one of the most strikingly beautiful and mysterious architecture, history, myths, traditions, and nature. Mexican architecture is truly unique and incredible, it can help us to study and discover in detail the history of various historical periods. There are 35 historical sites in Mexico that are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Only in Mexico can you see one of the most mysterious and beautiful sites in the world, including the legendary Pyramid of Kukulcan, known as one of the Seven Wonders of the World," said the photographer.
Mexico is one of the most interesting countries in the world and is annually visited by a huge number of travelers, tourists, scientists, and researchers, athletes from all over the world. It is absolutely possible to note that every representative of any field of science or art can find something truly incredible in Mexico.
So, scientists, architects, historians - an incredible and mysterious world of historical and architectural masterpieces from different periods of history; lovers of nature and vacation, both active and passive, athletes, and even representatives of the film industry - the amazing natural world of Mexico. The natural world of Mexico, a country located between two oceans, the Pacific and the Atlantic, includes beautiful beaches, mysterious jungles, and entire networks of underground and underwater caves, an incredible variety of flora and fauna.
We can see the amazing nature of this country every year in many major film projects and Hollywood films that are filmed in various parts of Mexico. The culture and traditions of Mexico are also famous all over the world, that’s why in every country of the world, we have heard about the Day of the Dead "El Día de Muertos" - a holiday dedicated to the memory of the dead, according to which on this day the souls of deceased relatives visit their home.
The traditions of this Mexican holiday date back to the ancient Aztec and Maya peoples. Crowds of tourists from all over the world come to Mexico on this day to take part in the incredible parades that take place in honor of this holiday right on the streets of Mexican cities. Mexican traditional music, performed in the national Mexican clothes, the special attribute of which is the "Mexican Sombreros", is also famous in all corners of the world. Thus, the legendary Mariachi music ensemble, performing musical compositions in national attributes of clothing, gives concerts in almost all countries of the world.
In order to understand, discover and get to know Mexico, the author of the project, Aydin Sadixov, decided to present a photo exhibition dedicated to the origins, or rather the most ancient, most mysterious part of Mexican history and architecture.
The photo exhibition, themed "Historical and architectural masterpieces of Mexico", reveals to us the world of the ancient peoples of Mexico - the Aztecs and the Maya.
Mexico is an amazing country in every way. The history of architecture in Mexico is about 4000 years old. This is the cradle of the ancient civilizations of the Aztecs and Maya, whose archaeological sites are hidden in the middle of the dense jungles. The Aztecs and Maya are considered the most interesting peoples in the entire history of mankind. Their descendants live in the modern world, diligently protecting the remnants of the legacy of their famous ancestors. The Maya and the Aztecs were the only peoples in North America with advanced writing, mathematics, and a calendar. At that time, art, writing, and architecture had a syncretic, sacred, and pictographic character.
The beginning of the formation of the Mayan civilization dates back to 2000 BC. Mayan buildings are man-made monuments of their perception of the world. The architectural masterpieces created by the Maya include the legendary ancient city of Chichen Itza, Tulum, Coba, and Palenque.
A surprising factor to this day is that the Maya created their incredible masterpieces without any special construction equipment. Researchers claim that many more incredible creations of this amazing and mysterious civilization are hidden in the depths of the jungles.
The Maya people had a very developed medicine - it is believed that they knew how to fill their teeth and even make prostheses, understood astronomy, and mathematics, and had a writing system. They had no metal, but they did have cement, stone tools, irrigation systems, and functioning observatories. The Mayan people created the highest examples of ancient Mexican architecture. Maya buildings were multi-room structures located around a large courtyard; Maya cities were a kind of acropolis on natural hills, on which pyramidal structures were erected. Pyramids were the most important structures located at the highest point of the city. Their location is explained by the religious functions they played. Recent studies indicate that some pyramids were used as burial sites, but no graves have ever been found in them. The Maya had a fairly deep knowledge of astronomy. Many of their structures were in accordance with the location of the celestial bodies known to them.
Another ancient people in Central Mexico who built a grand empire are the Aztecs. According to research, the ancestors of these peoples came from the territory of the modern United States. At first, these people settled on a desert island in Lake Texcoco, which the locals avoided because of the huge number of snakes. It is possible to find statues and images of snakes at most Aztec architectural sites. That is the fact that snakes played a special role in the religion of the Aztecs. In the XIV century, the capital of Tenochtitlan arose on the island, centuries later becoming Mexico City. Tenochtitlan was a clean and well-maintained city, and it was larger than many European cities. The Aztec architecture was large, and massive in appearance. The main building materials were "tezontle" volcanic stone, raw brick, wood, and limestone mortar.
Through his photographs, Aydin Sadikhov showcased the architectural masterpieces of the most ancient cities of Mexico, created by the Mayan and Aztec civilizations - Chichen Itza, Tulum, Palenque, Coba, and Teotihuacan. Each of the ancient cities presented at the exhibition is the most valuable Masterpiece of World History and Architecture:
The city of Koba is the ancient center of the Mayan civilization with its secrets and mysteries. The ruins of a city with a six-century history buried under the jungle will not leave indifferent lovers of antiquities and historians. Some of the excavation centers were not restored at all, which allows you to see the Mayan culture in its true form, which has gone through all sorts of wars and bad weather. The most famous monumental building of Koba is the Nohoch-Mul pyramid, 42 m high. The Nohoch-Mul pyramid is a famous historical site. 120 steps lead to the top of the pyramid, along which you can climb to the ritual room with the altar.
The city of Tulum is a city of the Mayan civilization that served as a port for the city of Coba. The ruins are located on the 12-meter cliffs of the eastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. Tulum is one of the best-preserved Mayan coastal cities. The word "tulúm" in the Mayan language means "wall", it was the powerful walls around the city that made it possible to protect it from enemy attacks. On the one hand, Tulum was protected by steep cliffs that ended in the sea, and from the land side - a powerful wall 5 m high. This impressive defensive wall makes Tulum one of the most fortified cities of the Maya. In the city, you can see magnificent examples of Mayan urban architecture.
The city of Palenque is an ancient city of the Mayan civilization, well preserved in the state of Chiapas, in southern Mexico. Palenque makes an unforgettable impression - lost in the humid jungle, often dominated by fogs, the city resembles the abode of aliens. Palenque is known to lovers of Mayan history and archeology, as well as fans of esotericism and alien theories. Heated discussions flare up around the pyramids of Palenque. The carving of a young man on the sarcophagus of Pacal the Great, discovered by archaeologists in the "Temple of the Inscriptions", still gives rise to the most daring theories of science fiction writers. Palenque is not the ancient name of the city. In 1 thousand AD. The city was called Nachan or "serpent city". The Maya chose the perfect place to build a city. The nature of the state of Chiapas is distinguished by its beauty and richness. Valuable species of trees grow here, the wood of which the ancient Mayans used in construction and decoration. The architecture of Palenque is distinguished by an abundance of wall inscriptions, according to which the archaeologists managed to restore the history of the city. The main attraction of the city is considered to be the Temple of Inscriptions. In 1952, archaeologist A. Ruz Lhuillier discovered a stone sarcophagus on six columns in the Temple of the Inscriptions. The sarcophagus was covered with a powerful plate with carved images. The giant sarcophagus has become a real archaeological sensation. It was the first such sarcophagus found in Maya territory. The discovery of the sarcophagus confirmed that the Maya built pyramids not only as foundations for temples, but also placed royal tombs inside.
The city of Chechen Itza is the ancient center of the Mayan and Toltec civilizations included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The ancient Mayan city, located on the Yucatan Peninsula, is known to everyone who comes to this magical country. Mayan pyramids, numerous architectural monuments and proximity to the resorts of Cancun - all this annually attracts millions of tourists from all over the world and makes Chichen Itza a real tourist capital of Mexico. The Pyramid of Kukulcan is a legendary temple building perfectly preserved among the ruins of the ancient Mayan city of Chichen Itza. Every year, on the days of the autumn and spring equinoxes, it is possible to observe the unique spectacle of the “Feathered Serpent”. The original structure of the pyramid, with a certain amount of sunlight, gives the impression that the “Feathered Serpent” comes to life and crawls up in March and down in September. Each of the four stairs of the temple has 91 steps, and their total number is 364. Together with the base-platform at the top of the pyramid, which unites all four stairs, the number 365 is obtained - the number of days in a year. Many do not know that even before the invention of football by the British, the ancient Maya used a similar ball game. The stadium for this game was built over 3000 years ago.
After the official part of the event, Aydin Sadikhov together with representatives of the Mexican Embassy informed the visitors about the photographs presented at the exposition.
All guests of the event were told in detail interesting historical references, architectural features and even a number of legends about all the historical places of Mexico presented in the exposition. In the course of a short tour of the works, the curator answered all the questions. Most of the questions were directly related to the mysterious and incredible architecture, legends and even the way of life of the ancient peoples of Mexico, the Aztecs and Maya.
During the break, the Mexican Embassy organized a buffet, where everyone had the opportunity to try Mexican traditional cuisine.
The Mexican Embassy also invited a Mariachi ensemble to delight the guests of the event with wonderful music.
After viewing the photo exhibition, the attendees went to the assembly hall of the university, where the event continued with an interesting presentation prepared by the embassy.
The lecture on "Prehispanic Architecture in Mexico. Origin, Destruction, Rescue and current relevance" provided an interesting overview of the history of ancient architecture in Mexico.
It informed event visitors about the detailed history of the origin of Mexican architecture in the ancient cities of Teotihuacan, Chichen Itza, and Tenochtitlan during the period of Aztec and Mayan civilizations.
The presentation provided a unique opportunity to discover the different stages of the history of ancient Mexican architecture, starting from its most ancient stage of origin, then the later colonial stage of history as well as the mechanisms developed by Mexica to protect its ancient architecture.
The lecture and exhibition aroused great interest among the attendees.