Maya Healers: A Thousand Dreams,published by Nirala Press, is a compelling book of photographs and writing by Fran Antmann that explores the power and mystery of indigenous healing practices among the Maya people of Guatemala.
Over the course of a decade, Antmann gradually gained access to and built a bridge of trust to the families and native healers in mountain villages surrounding Lake Atitlan. She was allowed to visit sacred places and became privy to a tradition in which healers are believed to have connections with the supernatural and to derive their power and knowledge from dreams. She saw firsthand how healers, bonesetters and their patients are part of a sacred process that binds together healer and patient, family and community. These rituals survive despite the genocide of the Maya people perpetrated over several decades until 1996 by government forces. During this period the practice of these rituals was forbidden. In Maya Healers: A Thousand Dreams, Antmann is able to capture the continuing history of healing within the Maya culture and document it in a series of stunning photographs and stories.
“Fran Antmann’s work in Maya Healers, years in the making, is imbued with the depth and texture only great photography can achieve; where the images transcend being mere documents but reach great art. Many of the images, especially of the people in their daily lives, are transcendent and absolutely gorgeous, revealing an empathy and visual perception that is timeless.” — ED KASHI international photojournalist.
Antmann is a documentary photographer, writer, and teacher. Her photographic work has focused on the lives and culture of the indigenous people of Guatemala and Peru as well as the Dene people of the Western Canadian Arctic and the Inuit of Baffin Island, Canada. She has received grants from the Fulbright Commission, the Ford Foundation, Agfa Corporation, the Social Science Research Council, the Puffin Foundation and the J. Paul Getty Foundation. She was also awarded five New York State Foundation for the Arts fellowships in both Photography and Non Fiction Literature.
Maya Healers: A Thousand Dreams
A sponsored project of the New York Foundation for the Arts. Finalist for Lucie Foundation 2017 Photo Book Prize Honorable Mention Prix de la Photographie Paris (PX3) 2018 Named one of the winners of Latin America Fotografía #7, 2018
EVENTS/LECTURES/PRESENTATIONS • Guatemalan Embassy, Washington DC, May 5, 2018 • Half King Photography Series, Moderator: Kate Doyle, Latin American analyst/human rights investigator, Feb. 20, 2018 • Bronx Documentary Center, Nov. 17, 2017 • Bennington College, Nov. 11, 2017 • Stony Brook University, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Oct. 24, 2017 • Guatemalan International Book Fair, Guatemala City, Guatemala, July 2017
EXHIBITIONS • U of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Lane Hall Gallery, Institute for Research on Women and Gender, "Maya Healers," Sept. 2018 • MOPLA, Month of Photography Los Angeles, Photo Book Exhibition, April 2018 • Hamilton and Arronson Galleries, "Uncertain Times" curated by Deborah Willis, Philadelphia, March 2018 • Foley Gallery, Book signing sponsored by Visura with other Visura authors, Dec.2017 • Splashlight Studios, Exhibition of 2017 Lucie Photo Book Prize Finalists, Oct. 30, 2017 • Sidney Mishkin Gallery, Baruch College, "Focus on the Figure," Nov. 2017 and Book Signing Nov. 22, 2017