MEXICO CITY – The man who took rescue teams a pot of rice and those who donated tools to search through the rubble are among the “Nameless Heroes” of the photo series by Eduardo Feldman that pays tribute to volunteers who helped out all they could following Mexico’s devastating earthquake of Sept. 19, 2017.
“There are those who stayed home looking at Facebook and others who decided to go out and help. I’m with the latter, people who said ‘I don’t know what use I can be, but if I stay home I’ll be no use at all,’” the photographer said in an interview with EFE.
The “Nameless Heroes” project immortalizes those who last year poured out to lend a hand following a powerful magnitude-7.1 quake that shook central and southern Mexico and left 369 fatalities.
In Mexico City, the quake left 228 dead and some 40 buildings collapsed in the capital’s worst tragedy since the 1985 earthquake, which coincidentally struck on the same date, Sept. 19.
Feldman’s first thought was to collaborate with one of the many supply centers put together in the city: “From there I realized that something odd was happening – I saw lots of ordinary folks taking action, helping out for no reason.”
On the third day after the earthquake he grabbed his camera and decided to make a documentary, “not of the tragedy but just the opposite.”
What he looked for were “anonymous heroes” who “rolled up their sleeves” and came out to help.
Feldman went around taking pictures of people like a man who “made sandwiches in the disaster area so they (the rescuers) could have a bite to eat and then keep on working.”
Despite the massive outpouring of volunteers, “nobody has thanked them.”
For now, Feldman, 35, who normally does landscapes and nature photos, is promoting a crowdfunding project online in order to publish a book of his pictures so they’re not just left in digital formats.
The photographer also posted his work on social networks in the days after the earthquake – “as a photographer, half my work is to capture the moment and the other half is to share it” – because he thought that could motivate people to come out of their homes and lend a helping hand.
“Knowing that the photos were inspiring others did a lot to keep me going,” Feldman said.