Gustavo Graf

Gustavo Graf

Gustavo Graf is a freelance photographer based in Mexico-Tenochtitlan.

Meet Mexico City’s Sign Painters

Seemingly replaced by vinyl-printed ads since the early 2000s, artists who can paint advertisements by hand are making a comeback.

Inside Mexico City’s Street Market for Cults

The Sonora Market is the commercial ground zero for religious fashions, from Santeria to medicinal herbs to ritual cleansings to statues of Santa Muerte.

What It’s Like to Be a Street Food Vendor in Mexico City

“Machos don’t like making tortillas, it’s usually only taught to women,” said Margarita Benitez, who has cooked up quesadillas and tlacoyos in the Juarez neighborhood for 40 years.

Three workers pose separately inside a public market in Mexico City.

Inside a Mexico City ‘Market On Wheels’

Why the roving vendors of Ruta 6, one of Mexico City’s Mercado Sobre Ruedas, keep at their craft, and maintain customers despite the rise of Walmart.

The Barbers of Mexico City

Five local hairstylists speak to CityLab about the state of their city’s coiffing preferences.

The Indigenous Voice of Mexico City

Slowly, native culture seems to be emerging from the shadows.

A Mexican Village Where Aztec-Era Agriculture Remains

“We could solve the subsistence problem ourselves without asking anything of the government...” says an owner of 12 chinampas. “If things continue like this the chinampa economy will have disappeared completely in 20 years.”

Mexico City Police Emergency Officer in a hazmat suit

The Many Police Forces of Mexico City

A glimpse into the often maligned and rarely appreciated police forces that manage the megacity.

Diableros, loaders of goods and merchandise, walk through the aisles of La Merced, one of the oldest and biggest traditional markets within Mexico City.

A Day in the Life of Mexico City's 'Diableros'

A profession that dates back to Aztec times, most today are indigenous farmers on the grey divide between migration and seasonal work in the city.

A traditional band of performers poses for a photo during the celebration of Santiago Apostol in Iztapalapa.

Keeping Village Traditions Alive In a Megacity

Religious events help maintain organizational frameworks and a sense of identity in the formerly rural and mostly indigenous areas that now form Iztapalapa—Mexico City’s largest district. There’s honor to be had for the few who get to organize such events.

Panoramic view of Ciudad Nezahualcoyotl.

How a Slum Became a City

Ciudad Nezahualcoyotl was developed on top of the swampy remains of Lake Texoco by dubious subdividers after World War II. Thanks to some of its earliest residents, “Neza” has become a thriving hub of culture and commerce with running water and paved roads just outside Mexico’s capital.

Mexico City's Endless Commute

Every day, workers across the region endure some of the world’s most crowded streets and subway cars for higher wages in the city center.

The Women Who Rule Mexico City

The inner-city barrios have had female leaders for decades.