ZAICKZ MOZ’S PHOTO-ESSAY
Article by. Fernanda Escárcega
In 2005, as a way to increase its competitiveness, the government of the border state of Mexico City –Estado de México– launched a program called “Bicentenary Cities”, with reference to the two hundredth anniversary of the Mexican Independence.
This program proposed a careful land-use planning and the creation of a state structure for key population centers, all of them selected on the basis of its location, capacity to receive population increase, potential to host infrastructure and strategic equipment, and the possibility to create adequate communication lines to enable regional, statewide and national integration.
One of the centers selected was Tecámac –a municipality of Estado de México–. Although its housing development started at the late 60’s and kept going at 90’s with the construction of different neighborhoods, it wasn´t till it was named a city of the Bicentenary that, within a new state regime of social construction, the private investment carried out the project and detonated the housing boom that had overrun, not only allocated lands, but all the surrounding area of Mexico City.
Laboral self-reliance and the establishment of an urban settlement with sufficient services, medical, educational and recreation areas, were forgotten promises of the “Bicentenary Cities” program. Neither the state or the private developers fulfilled their commitments. The explicit aim of building a model city, self-sufficient, well planed and highly competitive, got lost between the change of governments and the uncontrolled growth of housing.
Focused on social issues, the architectural photographer Zaickz Moz, presents the photo-essay Non-Social Interest (2018), a collection of back views of Tecamac´s housing settlements. The shots portray the action of the inhabitants who, through self-construction, overlapping levels and changing the original building, have adapted their houses to their living needs without a construction plan or any concern for safety standards.
Vertical expanding, variation of materials, windows at the surrounding walls, exposed stairs, security fences… The constructive and housing disorder captured by Zaickz Moz´s photographs is the result of a serious disarray in which the public and the private remain confronted; a disarray affecting living conditions of families and communities, the environment and, also, the thousands of people commuting everyday from peripheral areas to Mexico City.
Approaching to just one of many examples of irregular developments around big cities in México, Non-Social Interest notes the consequences of neglect and disregard for norms. On one side, the inhabitants take over their own welfare turning their backs on public order and space. On the other, the government –absent, detached or incompetent– keeps using the back walls for their political ads and campaign promises.