This series depicts the lives and relationships of a community of Hispanic immigrants in small-town North Carolina. Through close work with this community for more than five years, I have built trust and formed a strong relationship with each of its members. I have also seen the trials that they face as they live in a town and a society that is unwelcoming and hostile. As they are often treated like outcasts, it is my hope to advocate for them and their children through this series by showing their faces—the real faces of real people who have needs and dreams. This series offers insight into the community, the facets of their daily lives, the interactions of the children, the relationships between community members themselves, and the relationship between the community and the town that surrounds it.
It is my hope to act as a bridge, to eliminate separation between viewer and subject and to ask the audience to think about this community as individual people with the desire of changing the viewer’s perspective towards Hispanic individuals and those who associate with them. These images, products of long-time commitment and dedication, are paired alongside images taken by the children of the community that were taken during a summer photography class. They provide the missing element to my work—an insider’s unique perspective. Together our works tell the visual story of a vibrant and beautiful community who are an integral part of our society.
Experimentation with Alternative Photographic Processes has been an integral part of my Fine Art education. The following images are examples of the work produced during my last two semesters at UNCC.