Honorable Mention / 2018 / Book (series Only) / Documentary

Maya Healers: A Thousand Dreams

  • Photographer
    Fran Antmann
  • Credit
    •"Maya Healers" was a finalist for the Lucie Foundation's 2017 Photo Book prize. • "Maya Healers" selected for the Month of Photography Los Angeles Photo Book Exhibition. • "Maya Healers" featured in the Huffington Post: 2017 “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 • "Maya Healers" on NBC News online: 2017 "A visually stunning new book details one of the Maya's most enduring traditions, their healers." • "Maya Healers" featured on Yahoo News, 2018 •Maya Healers selected to be presented at FILGUA, Guatemalan International Book Fair 2017 • http://socialdocumentary.net/exhibit/Fran_Antmann/2656 Featured photographer of the month • Baruch College Women’s History Month - Phenomenal Women Award Nominee 2013 • PSC/CUNY Professional Development Fund Grant for Photography, 2012, 2010, 2009, 2007 • PSC/CUNY Grant for photography in Suriname, 2010 • The Puffin Foundation Grant in Photography, 2008

Over the course of ten years, I accompanied the healers of San Pedro, a village on Lake Atitlán in Guatemala, as they treated patients suffering from a wide range of maladies. In small, windowless spaces where ancient rituals are practiced on dirt floors, I explored radical forms of healing and was privileged to be included in intense and intimate rituals. I listened to the voices of those who are believed to have connections with the supernatural world and who derive their knowledge from dreams. These healers practice a craft outside the realm of Western medicine and are the first, and often only, source of medical care. From 1960 to 1996, the genocide of the Maya people and the systematic repression of their ceremonies forced their healing practices underground. The return of peace in recent years has revived these once-imperiled cultural practices—a testament to the tenacity of the Maya people.

Fran Antmann is a documentary photographer, writer, and adjunct professor of photography at Baruch College, CUNY in New York City. Her photographic work has focused on the lives and culture of the indigenous people of Guatemala, Peru, Mexico, the Dene First Nation people of the Western Canadian Arctic and the Inuit of Baffin Island, Canada. As a Fulbright scholar, she lived in the Peruvian Andes researching and recovering the work of the Peruvian photographer Sebastian Rodriguez and pursuing her own photographic project of the same town and people.
She also co-founded the Fototeca Andina in Cuzco, Peru in 1988 to research and recover historical Peruvian photography.
Her work has been exhibited and published in New York, Philadelphia, Houston, Peru, Mexico, France, England, and Denmark. Her photographs are in the collections of the International Center of Photography, New York; the Brooklyn Museum, New York; the Haverford College Collection, Pennsylvania; The Museum of Photographic Arts, Denmark, and various private collections.
She has received grants from many foundations including the Ford Foundation, Agfa Corporation, the Social Science Research Council, the Puffin Foundation and the J. Paul Getty Foundation. She was awarded five New York State Foundation for the Arts fellowships in both Photography and Non-Fiction Literature. She held artist’s residencies at the Blue Mountain Center and at Yaddo.