Along with a fisheye No.2, the guys from The City Loves You (TCLY) share their views and perspective on Mexican Urban Culture. Not only do they tell Lomography what their blog is about, they also give us some insight on what's next for them.
Our very first Mexican LomoAmigos are the staff at TCLY. They’re an online blog that has devoted their efforts to documenting and promoting every single artistic expression of our time that falls into the urban culture category.
In the beginning they focused exclusively on Mexico City, but as time passed, they’ve expanded and it shows in their capacity to reach places unheard of within the country. Their audience and quality of the editorial content is constantly growing because they are always striving to bring their readers the most up to date news on fashion, design, photography, art, skateboarding, graffiti, music and films. They have incorporated new sections to maintain a close and dynamic relation with their many followers.
So without any further introductions, we present to you…
Name: THE CITY LOVES YOU – TCLY
City of Origin: Mexico City
Why create a medium to spread urban culture?
The answer is simple. In 2006 the media wasn’t showing what was going on with urban culture in Mexico. There were blogs, photoblogs and printed magazines that were covering a wide range of things, from graffiti to skateboarding and even some art, but non of them were covering the new graffiti and urban art talents, non cared about the skateboarding scene, non spoke about street wear or even the famous sneaker culture. As far as design, you would only get a glimpse of art toys and the new influences arriving to Mexico and landing for the most part on street art.
At that time, we had a lot of questions, were still pretty eager to document and show what was going on in cities like Monterrey, Oaxaca, Merida, Guadalajara, and many more. It is now a common thing to find several online blogs offering urban content. Wanting to promote what was going on in our country is what made us create TCLY.
Now that six years have passed, have you noticed a change in Mexico’s urban culture?
Absolutely. Urban culture belonged to a specific kind of people, now a days a wide variety of people are joining, not to mention the big commercial brands. The proof is that now well-known sneaker companies sponsor skateboarding contests. Clothing and drink companies are sponsoring murals being painted by sneaker companies’ local and international artists. There are lots of exhibits in galleries and even museums are now showcasing collectibles. Graffiti is now more popular than it was in the late nineties. More and more people are collecting sneakers and street wear and design conferences are more frequent than before. It is all happening here and now, and it’s not just us saying it, it’s people from outside the country who are.
What have been the main obstacles that you´ve encountered while promoting the things you consider most important?
The indie road is the best; but it’s also the hardest and most expensive to travel. Being independent, TCLY has received support from sponsors that have helped to keep the project alive. We have been able to acquire computers, cameras, video cameras, an office, etc. We haven’t really found anyone blocking our way. The hardest part is not having the means to do our work, which only slightly slows us down, but never stops us.
How do you see analogue photography in this panorama of urban culture?
It is the A, B, and C to the creation of images. Technology has made it really easy for people to take photos; a computer, a mobile, you name it. However, the magic of analogue photography forces you to be more prepared. We like photography a lot, in our section ONSTREETS we have a lot of photographic content. Submissions are made by our followers, of which some are amateurs and others are important figures in Mexican photography.
We know that an analogue picture can never be compared to a digital one, and in our opinion it is this sensation of complexity that makes analogue photography so special.
Does someone come up with a new concept and then present it to all staff who then asses it or does that person just come forward and tells everyone: there’s a new section.
New sections come from the suggestions made by our staff; while Cesar Ortega and Adolfo Mejia, founders of the blog, create others.
NOTTV was created to share interviews, documentaries, and small videos with different topics; many of them just random things that come into our minds but obviously related to fashion, films, urban culture, etc.
ONSTREETS was born to share stories from our country and now we even have some international content.
Which are the sections that make up TCLY? Could you tell us a bit about them?
Our sections are: URBAN, the most popular, where we have articles related to urban art, graffiti, skateboarding, design and street wear. The core of each of these tendencies is what goes on the streets.
FASHION covers everything that’s related to Mexican fashion, fashion shows, the presentation of a new season collection, cocktails, etc.
CINEREX shares film premiers, film reviews, interviews with actors.
And EVENTS is entirely dedicated to keeping our readers up to date with parties, concerts and happenings.
Our newest sections are: NOTTV and ONSTREETS. In NOTTV you’ll find interviews, promotional videos, and small series focusing on a specific topic. All of the videos in this section have been created by TCLY. ONSTREETS is all about images, like I said before.
And last but not least, we have FEEDBACK which is a stream that goes live every Tuesday and Thursday starting at 7:00 pm, we have two streams: “Estuvo de Huebos,” this is our skateboarding show, and “Feedback,” which gave the name to this section and in it we have special guests, and exclusive news about each of our sections.
What do you see in TCLY future? Any plans or new sections?
We are seriously considering the possibility of having correspondents in other Spanish speaking countries like: Spain, Argentina, Colombia, Venezuela and maybe even Brazil (even if they don’t speak Spanish).
Anything else you would like to add?
We just want to thank Lomography for the chance of getting involved. It has been really fun using one of your cameras. You easily get used to the digital world, so this time we had to be careful on what we shot, because we didn’t want to waste film. It was a very entertaining experience.
Take a lot of analogue pictures, do what you like the most and remember that…The City Loves You.
You can check their LomoHome tcly