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In 1993, author/journalist Shepard Barbash and photographer Vicki Ragan published the best seller Oaxacan Wood Carving: The Magic in the Trees that chronicled the art of Oaxacan wood carvers. Changing Dreams, a photo documentary style book, takes a generation-long look at the fast-changing world of the woodcarvers in Oaxaca, an increasingly popular tourist center where the carvers have become the main attraction. Faced with a range of negative trends, a number of Oaxacan artisans put aside their craft to become mojados, or illegal workers, drawn by the economic opportunities north of the border.
Arresting black-and-white images and narrative text drawn from interviews provide a compelling documentary study of the woodcarvers of Oaxaca, Mexico. The artisans became famous in the 1980's for their colorful novelty figures. A generation later, the authors document the artists' struggle to survive amid economic hardships.