Triptych is a remote, somewhat old fashioned word. It clearly contains the word Three, plus five more letters which mean Fold if we look it up the dictionary. What comes to mind is a sort of vertical frame of gilded wood, oil and tempera. Foldable images, essentially. But the subject matter isn’t necessarily remote: It might frame a building in the southern Los Angeles suburbs, each panel the same neighborhood captured throughout the years. And the gilded wood, like you’d probably see in the Mexican churches a few kilometers further south, might also become digital, to be swiped right to left.
An Instagram Triptych.
In short, a triptych is also a series of photos on Instagram. Like those posted on Nalleli Cobo’s profile; she’s the girl who won the Goldman Prize this year, the most distinguished award given for ecological protection. As always this new Journal entry focuses on an environmental hero, as always in three installments, and though told in words, it’s presented like one of Nalleli’s posts.
First photo: Nalleli as a child.
The first picture is almost out of focus. There is a little girl on a stage in front of a microphone. She has a long braid and plump cheeks, and her mother is beside her. Maybe the two of them have just finished handing out leaflets door-to-door in their University Park neighborhood. Nalleli is nine years old but she already speaks like an orator. She is sweet and determined. What is her goal? On closer inspection, the fog that clouds the picture comes from the Allen Drilling Company oil wells in front of Nalleli’s house.