“Maya Healers: A Thousand Dreams,” recently published by Nirala Publications is a unique book of photographs and writing that explores the power and mystery of indigenous healing practices among the Maya people of Guatemala. In our data-driven world, there is increasing interest in indigenous knowledge as a source of enlightenment for those who can apprehend patterns in nature and use their own bodies as sources of healing.
The Maya healers have a close relationship with the natural and spiritual worlds – their lives are bound up with its extraordinary landscape - the lake, its winds and the mist that rings its volcanoes.
Over ten years’ time, Antmann photographed the indigenous healers, bone setters, and shamans struggling to keep traditional practices alive in the aftermath of Guatemala's devastating civil war. Drawing on dreams, intuition and ancient traditions, they heal the sick surrounded by family and friends. She was privileged to be included in these intense, intimate healings and to listen to their words—the stories and dreams of these healers and shamans. Thirty years ago, such ceremonies would have triggered a brutal repression. Now they are part of a proud resurgent Maya identity.
Publisher: Nirala Publications, New Delhi, India 2017 Photographs and Text: Fran Antmann
Preface: Carolina Escobar Sarti, Guatemalan journalist, and poet
All books are signed.
"Maya Healers: A Thousand Dreams" is a sponsored project of the New York Foundation for the Arts.
• 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
• 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
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
“Fran Antmann grew to know a culture, lived in it, merged with it, translated it, and loved it. She photographed the dreams that guide us to wisdom and healing, then wrapped those images in quetzal feathers. Today, she returns her vision of the world to the men and women she met through this encounter between cultures. It is a privilege to have been invited to write the preface to this book which is more than a book—it is a revelation.”
— Carolina Escobar Sarti, Guatemalan poet
"This book of beautiful photographs and text awakens wonder and curiosity and also informs. Years in the making, a labor of conviction and love—Fran Antmann has given us all an extraordinary gift."
— Francisco Goldman, author and journalist
“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
"Extraordinary . . . Profoundly compelling. . . . Antmann’s camera captures the pain of those who suffer but most of all she captures their strong faith, through images and words, too. By weaving simple and powerful personal histories …into the fabric of her book, Fran Antmann creates a seamless narrative, where words echo images and images echo words.”
—Roslyn Bernstein, Arts & Culture contributor The Huffington Post