In May and June, Jake Michaels was in Tijuana, a city he has visited several times in the seven years since he first began driving down from Southern California to attend soccer matches with friends along the border. He set out to explore the themes of music, family and tradition in Mexican culture, employing the vibrantly painted buildings as backdrops.
The photo above was taken at the Tijuana Pride parade. “This is right about the time everyone was getting out the cars and off the trucks and congregating in the main square for a big dance party,” Mr. Michaels said, describing a crowd of about 1,000 people who lined the street, waving and taking selfies with the drag queens. “For that moment they were celebrities.”
The streets of Tijuana are alive with musicians: mariachi bands, solo violinists, men wearing metal shirts. This young man wore a vest with patches from metal bands like Slayer.
On the Mexican side of the border wall women painted messages, some including the word “hope.” That day was the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, and to mark the date, the Dresden Symphony Orchestra was playing concerts at the wall in Tijuana and across the border in San Diego. A small group of people played Donald Trump campaign speeches and waved American flags.
On one foggy morning on the Mexican side of the border wall, a couple posed for their wedding photos. “It was interesting that during this political climate, they chose this to be the place to be photographed,” Mr. Michaels said.
Mr. Michaels was initially drawn to this man for his colorful shirt, then realized that he was part of a mariachi band. “The guys in his group had the most outlandish shirts,” he said. “Most of the bands were kind of dressed in traditional mariachi outfits. I was interested in how younger people are adapting old traditions.”
A woman in Tijuana.
A scene in the center of the city.
Sporting events in Tijuana usually end with a dance party in the parking…