Life In Oaxaca Is Lived Behind Bars

And How I, As A Photographer, Have Come To Love These Bars

GE McKerrihan


Beautiful floral arrangement above a door, and behind bars.
“Beauty Behind Bars” — Image by Author

Much of life in Oaxaca is lived on the street. It is on the street that one sees the vibrancy and passion of this city displayed daily. It is seen in the celebrations, the music, the colors, the food, and the smiling faces of the people of Oaxaca.

Visitors rarely see how the people live and love when they are home. Life at home is lived behind locked doors and barred, shuttered windows. Occasionally the shutters are open, though the bars remain.

Clothing in a shop window, behind bars.
“Shop Window Reflections” — Image by Author

Shop windows are no exception. They all have wrought iron grills over them. Often there are shutters that are open during business hours. They are promtly closed once the door is locked.

Most shop windows are deep set, like the one above. Only the smaller windows are without shutters. The displays are always fascinating and change often.

Flowers on a window ledge, behind scrolling grillwork.
“Scrolling Still Life” — Image by Author

I always appreciate when the windows are opened wide and I can get a better glimpse of what is going on inside. I’m sure this helps with ventilation as well, in this warm and humid climate.

The open windows are more inviting and welcoming. One can often hear laughter and music coming from inside. The people of Oaxaca are known for their happy, playful, and easy going nature.

Pots and pans hanging in a restaurant kitchen window, behind bars.
“Restaurant Kitchen Window” — Image by Author

I always love looking in the kitchen windows of the many restaurants. I stop for a few moments every time I pass this one. The cooks are always busy, though it is easy to hear the playful banter going on between them.

The shiny pots and well used pans hanging in this window delight me every time. This view always makes me want to raise my camera to my eye. I am never discouraged by the wrought iron bars.



GE McKerrihan

I’ve been using the camera for nearly 50 years. I write about Photography, Art, Travel, and Life. Top Writer in Photography, Art, Creativity, and Inspiration.