My Husband Tyler Orsburn’s Dorothea Lange 2012 Award In The Gleaner Newspaper

Berkeley, Copan, Photography, Photojournalism, San Francisco, Tyler Orsburn
Tyler Orsburn Dorothea Lange 2012 Award in The Gleaner

Henderson native Tyler Orsburn is the winner of the 2012 Dorothea Lange Fellowship at the University of California Berkeley

Photography Prize
Former Gleaner photographer and Henderson native Tyler Orsburn was recently named the 2012 winner of the Dorothea Lange Fellowship at the University of California, Berkeley.

The fellowship, in memory of one of the most outstanding photographers of the 20th century, encourages the use of photography in scholarly work of any discipline.

Orsburn, who was awarded $4,000, said he has one year to complete his project, which he said will take him to Honduras to document land reform among the Maya Ch’or’ti, an indigenous people near the Copan Ruinas.

For more: http://berkeley.edu/lange/fellowship.shtml

You can read Tyler’s essay here.

Follow Tyler Orsburn on Twitter or Blogspot, or visit his website.

My Husband Tyler Orsburn Wins Photography Award

Berkeley, Copan, Photography, Photojournalism
Don Mauro harvesting his maize

Don Mauro harvesting his maize

“One should really use the camera as though tomorrow you’d be stricken blind. To live the visual life is an enormous undertaking, practically unattainable. I have only touched it, just touched it.”

Dorothea Lange was an inspiring woman whose influential social photography and legacy has lasted until our days. Now faculty members, graduate students, or seniors who have been accepted for graduate work at UC Berkeley, like my husband Tyler Orsburn who is the 2012 winner of her prestigious fellowship, can enjoy it:

The fellowship, in memory of one of the most outstanding documentary photographers of the 20th-century, encourages the use of photography (black and white or color) in the scholarly work of any discipline at UC Berkeley.

… Applicants must demonstrate outstanding work in documentary photography and a creative plan for future work.

http://www.berkeley.edu/lange/

Will post the photographs and essay he submitted for judging, about the modern Maya Chortí indigenous peoples living in Copán Ruinas, Honduras, on this blog soon. In the meantime–congratulations my beloved Tyler!

You can read more about Lange’s life here.

You can follow Tyler Orsburn on Twitter or Blogspot, or visit his website.

Tarjeta de Agradecimiento de Barack y Michelle Obama

Frida Larios, New Maya Language, San Francisco, Washington DC

Cuando llegué de vuelta a California de mi viaje de verano en El Salvador y Honduras, encontré una carta en mi buzón de correo del Presidente de los Estados Unidos de América. El sobre diplomático se mezcló entre un montón de correo basura y estados de cuenta de Wells Fargo.

Michelle Obama Thank You Card

La carta lee:

La Casa Blanca

Washington

Quisiéramos extender nuestro profundo agradecimiento y apreciación por tu generoso regalo.

Es gratificante saber que tenemos tu apoyo. Esperamos que permanezcas activa e involucrada, mientras trabajamos en resolver los grandes retos de nuestros tiempos.

Nuevamente, gracias por tu generoso regalo.

Barack Obama   Michelle Obama

Hay una razón por la que los Obamas me enviaron una carta. En marzo pasado le envié una copia de mi libro Nuevo Lenguaje Maya, ya que hizo una parada política y cultural en mi país: El Salvador. Hizo una breve visita al sitio arqueológico de San Andrés, así que pensé que mi libro les permitiría apreciar con mayor profundidad la inteligencia y la belleza del antiguo – así como de mi nuevo – sistema de escritura maya.

Esto no es un mensaje de propaganda política, pero tengo que reconocer que nunca hubiera hecho el esfuerzo de enviar nada a ningún otro presidente de EE.UU. ¡Sobre todo ahora que soy una residente de los EE.UU.! Creo que Barack Obama es el presidente más social que los Estados Unidos haya tenido: a pesar de sus problemas económicos.

Aún cuando este país está en graves problemas financieros, sigue siendo percibido como un refugio económico por muchos ilegales que cruzan la frontera: los inmigrantes centroamericanos que arriesgan sus vidas en los miles todos los días para pisar suelo americano. Hay una enorme tasa de inmigrantes salvadoreños que viven en los Estados Unidos (se dice que alrededor de dos millones viven legal e ilegalmente  en Los Angeles, CA solamente), por lo que ya era hora que un presidente de EE.UU. visitará El Salvador por más de un par de horas . La Oficina del Censo proyectó que para el año 2050, una cuarta parte de la población será de origen hispano, es decir: habrá 100 millones de latinos en los EE.UU. para el año 2050.

El analfabetismo es un problema grande no sólo en los países en vías de desarrollo sino también en países desarrollados como los Estados Unidos de América. Los inmigrantes hispanos y las poblaciones desfavorecidas del Sur cuentan con las tasas más altas de acuerdo la Universidad de Columbia Press. Los  EE.UU. podrían utilizar un lenguaje 100% visual para comunicarse con las personas analfabetas. Un sistema como el Nueva Lengua Maya podría ser un comienzo.

Mientras tanto, una nota de agradecimiento del líder más influyente en el mundo y su esposa, es un humilde comienzo a mis sueños.

Barack and Michelle Obama’s Thank You Card

Frida Larios, New Maya Language, San Francisco, Washington DC

When I got back to California from my summer trip to El Salvador and Honduras, I found a letter in my mailbox from the President of the United States of America. The diplomatic-like envelope was mixed between a stack of junk mail and Wells Fargo account statements.

Michelle Obama Thank You Card

It read—

To: Frida Larios Orsburn

From: The White House

There is a reason the Obamas sent me a letter. Last March I sent them a copy of my New Maya Language book because they made a political and cultural stop in my home country, El Salvador. They briefly visited the San Andrés Maya archaeological site, so I thought my book would allow them to appreciate in more depth the intelligence and beauty of the old – as well as my new – Maya writing system.

This is not a political propaganda post, but I have to recognise that I would’ve never gone through the effort of sending anything to any other US president, especially now that I am a US resident! I think of Barack Obama as the most social president the United States has ever had – despite his economic challenges.

Even when this country is in deep financial trouble, it is still perceived as an economic haven by so many illegal border-crossing Central American immigrants who risk their lives in the thousands everyday to reach U.S. American soil. There is an enormous rate of Salvadorean immigrants living in the United States (around two million are said to live legally and illegally in Los Angeles, CA alone), so it was about time a US president visited El Salvador for more than a couple of hours. The Census Bureau projects that by 2050, one-quarter of the population will be of Hispanic descent i.e. 100 million Latinos in the U.S. by 2050.

Illiteracy is a big problem not only in developing countries but also in developed countries like the United States of America. Hispanic immigrants and disadvantaged populations in the South account for the highest rates according to the Columbia University Press.The US government could use a 100% visual language to communicate with illiterate people. A system like the New Maya Language’s could be a start.

In the meantime, a thank you note from the most influential leader in the world and his wife, is a humble start to my dreams.

This entry was posted in DESIGN by A Theron.

Excerpt from Today we would be kings: Frida Larios’ New Maya Language By Frida Larios in DESIGN>MAGAZINE No. 19.

My journey to revive the visual language of the ancient Maya started in 2004 when I was studying towards a masters in Communication Design at Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design in London, located only two blocks away from the British Museum which holds some of the most important lintels in the Maya world. I was the first Salvadoran woman to study at Saint Martins. How could I not look for my own roots within an institution, and city, with marked avant-garde tendencies? It was my opportunity to show my peers and now the world how the Maya are one of the founding six pillars of the civilised world, inventors of the notion of zero and of one of the most accurate calendars in history. There is also a lack of recognition of their intelligent and advanced hieroglyphic language’s art form, within Mesoamerica (modern Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras and El Salvador) itself, and beyond its boundaries. Now, as an ambassador for INDIGO (Icograda’s International Indigenous Design Network), it is my privilege to promote part of this ancient culture through my design work.

My New Maya Language is a unique system, in content and style, which rescues the ‘dead’ written language created by the Maya across Mesoamerica as far back as 300 BC. My vision for the New Maya Language is to recreate, re-compose and develop contemporary applications in different media: art, product and fashion design, brand identities, information design, wayfinding and education systems for archaeological sites and public spaces, as well as children’s toys. Through these diverse applications I aspire to promote iconographic meanings, education and play, whether it is by instigating conceptual thinking through a 0–12 year-old child’s game, T-shirts or simply by creating appreciation through my artworks, which to-date have been acquired by collectors around the world. Antonio Avia, Indigenous Education Director for the Organisation of Iberoamerican States had this to say about my artworks: “… your work presents another form of seeing, understanding, recreating, and above all, employing again in daily life, millenary means of expression. I am fascinated by this new vision of the glyphs.”

Continue reading this article in DESIGN>MAGAZINE No. 19.

The book I wrote, illustrated and designed the 120-page New Maya Language book so that people could learn about the original language of the Maya in a simple and practical way and to decode my new interpretation to others. The main chapter provides the formula for each of my pictograms, original hieroglyphs on the left page and the new hieroglyphs or result on the right. Finally I showcase various design applications.

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Fashion design, Frida Larios, London

Via A Blog About Denim, Styling and Handcrafting by Ariela Suster.

As I mentioned in my last post I am in El Salvador, continuing the journey to launch my collection “Sequence” this September. I have been working with an artist from El Salvador, Frida Larios, who I have recently met and have gotten to know her work and incredible research and redesign of the ancient Mayan Language called “The New Maya Language.” We took a trip 2 hours outside of the city to source fabrics and discover more treasures that our small country has to offer. Here are some pictures from our journey.

Our trip ended with a delicious lunch of some of the tipical food of the town we visited, “tortillas con enrredo and ceviche.”

You can watch a San Sebastian weaver weaving on my youtube channel.

Workshop

Telar

Ceviche and Enredos

 

Fashion design, Frida Larios, San Francisco

“Today we would be kings: Frida Larios’ New Maya Language”

Fashion design, Frida Larios, London, San Francisco, South Africa

This is an extract and published spreads’ gallery of lead article in DESIGN MAGAZINE No. 19.

I tried to preserve the ancestral artists’ spirit at the time of creation, highlighting, and not merely reproducing their strokes. Aptly, renowned Harvard Peabody Museum’s epigrapher Alexandre Tokovinine describes my work with these words:

“Even though there has been a growing body of scholarly works devoted to the subject of Maya calligraphy, few artists systematically sought their inspiration in Maya letters beyond mere reproduction of certain glyphs and glyphic patterns, usually in the context of contemporary indigenous art.  Frida’s project stands apart as an attempt to explore and reinvent Maya calligraphy as a symbolic and aesthetic system from an artist’s viewpoint.  The New Maya Language creates its own world that blends Maya imagery and symbolism with Frida’s unique vision in a series of artworks which would make an ancient calligrapher proud.”

To read full article click here.

Frida Larios: out of History and onto our Clothes

Fashion design, San Francisco

As published on AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts) XCD: Center for Cross-Cultural design.

Photography by Tyler Orsburn

Fashion and Design Entrepreneur Frida Larios shares how her Mayan-inspired designs are taking new shapes and forms

New Maya Language

The Maya was a civilisation of indigenous natives that populated Central America from around 1500 BC. They are credited with inventing the concept of the number zero and their calendar measurements are the most accurate in the history of the civilised world. They created and used one of the most beautiful and intelligent logographic languages, still quite unknown to western hemispheres. The Maya scribes had a very privileged position in the socio-political system and were multi-talented – they were artists, sculptors, and calligraphers, and were also believed to be astronomers, mathematicians, historians and royal book keepers.

The project started by developing narrative pictograms for ‘Joya de Cerén’, an UNESCO World Heritage Archaeological Site in El Salvador in Central America. This was Frida’s Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design master’s thesis case study in 2004 and is still evolving to date. The archaeological site was apt because it was about common citizen’s way of living, about their eating habits, social relations, architecture and agriculture — very unlike the majestic religious temples usually found in the Mesoamerican region. The Maya written language was not really accessible to the non-elite population, a problem that still persists in our modern times. It is really a dead language only readable by a few in the academic world. The system is a universal visual language, which can also help surpass literacy disadvantages – specially in the developing world – while at the same time enhance users experience and learning in public locations or through a toy, or simply be appreciated as an art form.

A Democratic womenswear line

The new design-oriented, 100% handcrafted fashion line features New Maya Language pictographs, allowing you to wear a story: the metaphoric language and history of the Maya as interpreted by Frida.

The concept behind this one-of-a-kind collection is planting and harvesting seeds, building a home with your own hands, and nourishing yourself and your family through eating beans on self-made ceramic vessels. Salvadorean women have lovingly hand-sewn and patched the garments to give them unique dimensions and colour.

The use of silk, silk satin, cotton, linen, and denim allow the clothes to wrap and flow on the body with ease. The earth-toned colours and modern lines marry Mayan traditions with present-day sophistication.

Frida Larios hails from Copan, Honduras. She has at taught the London College of Fashion and Camberwell College of Arts in London, and currently works with her husband to produce culturally inclusive integrated photo-design projects. In 2009, three of her New Maya pictograms earned a honourable mention in the AIGA Cross-Cultural Design competition. In 2005, she was the only Latin American to have won the Sign Design Award, and in 1999, she was nominated to Beatrice L. Warde Award by the ISTD for excellence in typographic research in England. Recently, she was selected to take part in ‘Beijing Typography ‘09′ in Beijing, China. Check out a video excerpt of Explode La Mode, Frida’s fashion show in the Mission district, San Francisco.

Fashion show review

Fashion design, Frida Larios, San Francisco

Sharing an extract and video by House of Villains – Fashion Blog, San Francisco:

Full article here: Explode La Mode: April 30th 2011

We had the pleasure of speaking with Frida Larios backstage in the dressing room. We were really excited to speak to her about the concept she applied to her garments. Frida has a long educational list, she has B.A from University of College Falmouth, a Masters from Central Saint Martins in Communication Design and she has been an instructor at London College of Fashion and Camberwell College of Arts. Her core discipline is graphic arts but she has effectively translated her new Mayan Cuneiform into exaggerated t-shirts. Frida designs her fabric cut outs on illustrator and has them cut out by laser. Her Italian trained seamstress sews everything together to create her new collection. She uses mostly cotton and silk dupioni and we thought the graphics and fabric cut out design were marvelous. She chose specific Mayan glyphs for each of her pieces but she added her little twist and changed the way the glyphs are seen. She did an amazing job translating her concept into pieces….the collection was unique and the use of the Mayan cuneiform for her inspiration was executed very well.