Location: Lake Coatepeque, El Salvador  

Date: July 20-26, 2017 

Participants: 8-12. Open to photographers and artists

Includes: Shared housing at Lake Coatepeque, all meals and in country transportation.

Registration deadline is June 20th

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Deposit to reserve your space with us. You pay $300.00 now and the remaining $975.00 by the registration deadline.

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Pablo Ortiz Monasterio will be leading a 7-day intensive book-editing workshop in which he will help participants take existing bodies of work and, through a series of practical and theoretical lessons, conceptualize a book that is authentic, surprising and true to the photographer. He will begin the workshop by presenting an overview of the photography book-making process, and by sharing insights from his own photographic projects such as the award-winning The Last City (1996), and White Mountain ( 2010 ), and the poignant Desaparecidos (2016). He will also trace the evolution of his ground-breaking editorial projects, such as Luna Cornea, Río de Luz, Frida Kahlo: Her Photos, and Mexican Portraits, a book he published with Aperture. He will delve into the process of selecting and sequencing photographs to tell a story, as well as reflect on identity, both individual and collective. 

Each participant will present their proposed book project, which will be the basis for the instruction. Together, you will map out where the book and the images meet design — what is right for your medium and message? A radical foldout? Books within books? We will examine how images are read in book form depending on placement (centered, up, down etc),  size (big, small, full bleed, cropped), space and text. Mr. Ortiz Monasterio is an expert in using the language of photography to craft masterful prose. The participants should all leave the workshop with a draft of their photo book and the tools to realize it.

The course will be taught in English and Spanish. 


Pablo Ortiz Monasterio is considered one of the most influential and active figures in contemporary photography in Mexico and Latin America. In 1994, he founded the Centro de la Imagen in Mexico City,  the most important photography forum in Mexico and a venue for the education, discussion and promotion of photography in Mexico, which included extensive educational photography and exhibition programs such as the Bienal de Fotografia and Fotoseptiembre.

Monasterio was born in Mexico City in 1952 and would go on to study economics at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico and photography at the London College of Printing in England. He received his masters degree in photography at the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana in 1984. He has served as an editor on various book projects, including Mexico Indígena, as well as the periodicals Río de Luz and Luna Córnea. In 1995, Monasterio published La Última CiudadThe Last City, a kaleidoscope of dynamic, dramatic black and white street photographs of Mexico City that evoke an apocalyptic atmosphere of an immense metropolis ravaged by poverty, crime and the ill-effects of overpopulation. In 2001 he was the curator of the PhotoEspaña festival in Madrid. He has been a juror and for World Press Photo and has imparted photography and editing workshops in many countries. In 2013 he published Mexican Portraits with Aperture. He has had solo exhibitions at the Museo de Arte Moderno, the Centro de la Imagen, and the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, as well as, more recently, at the Centro Português de Fotografia in Porto (Habitar la oscuridad, 2012).


  • The night before the workshops begins we the class meets and has an opening dinner together
  • Each student must bring a body of work and present this the first day
  • Individual and group sessions in editing, critique, comparison, and brainstorming
  • Story arc, layout, and sequencing discussions and
  • An iterative process of critique in a creative, supportive community atmosphere with fellow participants
  • Interdisciplinary dialogue challenging the boundaries of contemporary bookmaking
  • Lectures and presentations from artists, scholars and social scientists
  • Specific times are given to meet individually with Mr. Ortiz Monasterio, multiple times over the course of the seven days.
  • Review periods among peers to strengthen narratives



Laberinto Institute was brilliantly designed by the French-Salvadoran Janine Janowski, a renowned arts icon in the country and the architect Javier Sagarra. After building it she famously said that the view was so beautiful, it distracted her from getting any work done. The architecture embodies the four classical elements of nature –earth, water, fire and air. It features two distinct spaces that offer the perfect balance of contemplation and connection-- the outward beauty of the landscape and the internal recognition and reflection of it.

The house is perched over the beautiful Coatepeque lake, across from the Santa Ana and Cerro Verde volcanoes. The lake, in the center of the volcanic crater, is mythically known as being the unofficial 8th world wonder. We encourage you to search Lago de Coatepeque, and read more about the lake and the surrounding area.

Laberinto Institute, a landmark in the history and legacy of galería el laberinto, is a living distillation of Janine Janowski’s artistic and curatorial vision. The house was conceived by Janine and the late Salvadoran architect Javier Sagarra within a kind of artistic and social activism. Built with salvaged materials of personal and historical significance, the leading architectural principle was an expression of cultural recovery and a response to the natural landscape. Architectural drawings reveal the labyrinthian design of the house and hint at Janine’s philosophical framework for the creative life.

We are seeking major partnerships and support to actualize the potential of this space and to make it the center of laberinto projects. (MORE IMAGES)


laberinto projects is an arts, education and cultural legacy preservation platform that fosters contemporary art practices, social inclusion and dialogue in El Salvador and its diaspora.

At the core of laberinto projects is the belief that art serves as a catalyst to shape civil society. We provide a new framework for art practice, cultural studies and for the access, collection and distribution of knowledge.

We aim to establish an art historical continuum in El Salvador and Central America through the study, conservation, digitization and dissemination of significant archives and collections --including the laberinto projects’ archive which documents the history of galería el laberinto and the country’s most significant collection of art produced during the civil war and post-war period.

 laberinto projects’ objectives are:  

  1. To promote and nurture the existing contemporary arts of Central America and its diaspora;
  2. To foster meaningful exchanges, healing, conflict resolution and social transformation through exhibitions, art education and community initiatives;
  3. To stimulate a collaborative and active educational model for lifelong learning and creative problem-solving;
  4. To promote research and the production of new works.


Cost: $975.00

Please contact us for more questions

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