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The Oasis and the Human

The Oasis and the Human: A Race for Environmental Preservation

Oliver J. CurtisGabriel Muñoz Moreno

An arid and rugged mountainous ridge, the Baja region is home to more than one hundred inland and coastal oases. This project followed the course of the Baja 1000 Race, which originates in Ensenada and ends in La Paz. As they traced this path, Curtis and Muñoz Moreno explored development patterns, construction methods, and resiliency strategies in the region.

“Conceived as an ecological journey, the race is a figurative metaphor, an allusion to the speed of change and the necessity to document it quickly,” said Curtis. “Oftentimes, we draw, redraw, and annotate a place from our desktops with little regard for the nuances of the locale. Through our work, we aspired to record those nuances.”

Without preconceived notions, they traveled back and forth across the peninsula–living with, and listening to the local communities. During their journey, Curtis and Muñoz Moreno diagrammed and documented the interconnected relationships of the oases and the people that inhabit them to help understand and address the impacts of urban- and tourism-related growth. For Muñoz Moreno, this trip was an opportunity to expand on previous work using drones, photogrammetry, and field interviews. “We  combined ethnographic and advanced photographic techniques to more fully capture the oases and the surrounding communities, akin to a documentary-style film,” said Muñoz Moreno. Their short film, LOWER DREAM STATE, provides local communities’ perspectives on the complex social and ecological questions they face. 


Curtis and Muñoz Moreno completed their research in the summer of 2017. Click below to view images from the Oasis team’s travels:

To learn more about their trip, follow @mision_oasis on Instagram. © 2017. All rights reserved.