Casitas: mexico city security huts

This series of images examine the structures that are specifically built to house and provide shelter for the security guards that are ubiquitous in the wealthy neighborhoods (Lomas de Chapultepec) of Mexico City.

A characteristic of the built environment of Mexico City is an absence of zoning codes. In the posh neighborhoods this means that a modernist dream house may neighbor a Tudor-revival mansion that may neighbor a Spanish-influenced colonial home. However, one thing that is uniform in these neighborhoods is the explicit displays of security; exemplified by 20 foot high walls, one-way mirrored glass, the security guards themselves, and the structures they inhabit.

These photographs depict the architectural/cultural dichotomy of having a 10 sq. ft structure in front of a 2000 sq. ft. mansion and where both serve the same function of a ‘house’. The men (it is a gendered space) who work/live (they often work 24 hour shifts) in these casitas decorate them with photos of women (the virgin of Guadalupe and pinups) and fill them with amenities, such as radios, televisions, hot plates for cooking tortillas and, in some, even toilets. They are very personal spaces that are placed in a public setting – the sidewalk (however, in Mexico City, sidewalks are appropriated for all types of private usage).

Jeremy Clouser