Roswell, New Mexico - Each summer, thousands of people descend upon the town of Roswell, New Mexico, for the annual UFO Festival, an event commemorating the anniversary of a supposed alien spacecraft crash and government cover-up that occurred nearby in the summer of 1947. For four days and nights, this otherwise sleepy, conservative town in southeastern New Mexico is transformed into a carnivalesque scene of food carts, costume contests, light shows and booths brimming with extraterrestrial-themed collectables.
Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala - At the Cofradia de Conception in Santiago Atitlan, Juan Ramirez, 28, sits pensively on a wooden bench, his outstretched leg held gently by Don Juan Pacach, a Mayan priest and bonesetter. The windowless room - part Catholic shrine, part traditional Mayan healing space - is set back from a narrow unmarked street up a hill in this lakeside Mayan village.
Albuquerque, New Mexico - In January 1972, Rito Canales and Antonio Cordova, members of the Chicano youth organisation known as the Black Berets, were killed in a barrage of gunfire by the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) and New Mexico State Police. "It was an assassination, pure and simple," says Black Beret cofounder Richard Moore.
New Mexico, US - Outside Tony's Rock Shop in the sleepy town of Magdalena, in New Mexico, Ben Valentino Otero stands amid a menagerie of animal statues, two wooden eagles, a merry-go-round horse, a metal sphinx and a variety of obscure rocks. "Which is your favourite?" asks Ben, an avid rock collector and descendant of miners who once worked the hills above town.
New Mexico, US - During the mining boom of the 19th century in New Mexico, thousands migrated to remote parts of the state, establishing towns to exploit the region's rich mineral wealth. By the late 1800s and early 1900s communities such as Kelly, Dawson, Madrid, Pinos Altos, Golden and Hanover/Fierro proliferated throughout the state, providing the silver, gold, lead, coal and zinc that helped to fuel the industrial western expansion taking place in America.
"You can't imagine how many houses there were here," says Ben Sisneros, looking up the Pecos River Valley to the Great Plains beyond. "There used to be bars, stores, schools. Right over there was La Salla Dancehall." Now the dancehall is an empty patch of earth. The church we're outside in Colonias, New Mexico, is crumbling in the sun.
Correction: Mar. 5, 2016: An earlier version of this article referred to Amy Spitalnick as Mary Spitalnick. New York City, US - On the evening of October 29, 2012, Hurricane Sandy reached the inlet between Long Island and New Jersey and funnelled the Atlantic storm surge into the heart of New York City, inundating lower Manhattan with water and wreaking havoc on the surrounding boroughs.
Seventy years ago last August, a B-29 bomber named the Enola Gay released its 4,000kg load over the Japanese city of Hiroshima, the sudden loss of weight jolting the US aircraft violently upwards as the pilot banked hard to escape the imminent blast. "My God, what have we done," wrote Enola Gay co-pilot Robert Lewis, recalling in his journal the morning of August 6, 1945, when he witnessed the atomic bomb, code-named Little Boy, successfully detonate 1,800 feet above Hiroshima.
A day after graduating from high school, Renea Gray left the Inyabito Chapter of the Navajo reservation in northwestern New Mexico and headed west to Las Vegas, Nevada. "It was an exhilarating experience," says the 34-year-old Navajo transgender woman, describing the 400 mile drive through the heart of Navajo country in Arizona and her arrival in the bright, sprawling desert city.
New York City - Like many children of undocumented immigrants, Lupe Martinez has lived a precarious life. Lupe's parents migrated to the United States by way of Oaxaca, Mexico, living without the legal status that their daughter attained at birth having been born in New York. In 2002, following a car accident on the way to work, Lupe's father was detained for driving without a license or insurance, setting in motion a string of events that led to his deportation.
New York City, United States - Standing in Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem, Frank Mills puffs on a thinly rolled marijuana cigarette, exhaling a long thin stream of smoke towards downtown Manhattan. "Fifteen or 20 years ago, legalisation and decriminalisation would have seemed impossible," said Mills, referring to the decades-long drug war that has led to the mass incarceration of Americans, disproportionally affecting African-American communities such as Harlem.