Photoville Brooklyn is one of the most highly anticipated and attended photography events in New York City, with last year’s edition attracting more than 90,000 visitors to the free, outdoors exhibit. Known for its increasingly diverse and inclusive curation, Photoville is showcasing an unprecedented number of Latinx and Latin American photographers this year in the form of exhibits, workshops, and talks. The exhibits, displayed in shipping containers on the picturesque waterfront of Brooklyn Bridge Plaza, will feature the work of up-and-coming photojournalists, such as Angela Ponce and Sebastian Hidalgo, collaborative projects from Las Fotos Project and Chiapas-based Club Balam, and hard-hitting photo essays on press freedom in Mexico, the Puerto Rican crisis, and the US-Mexico border wall.
With more than 90 exhibits to choose from, we’ve selected 10 shows that highlight a wide range of Latinx and Latin American talent and shed light on pressing issues, such as immigration, armed conflict, displacement, social movements, and gentrification.
Attacks on the Press: Mexico
In 2017, Mexico became the deadliest country in the Western Hemisphere for journalists, and the second most violent country for reporters in the world, with war-torn Syria placing first. Curated by the Bronx Documentary Center, Attacks on the Press: Mexico brings together the work of four documentary photographers – Emmanuel Guillen Lozano, Félix Márquez, Mauricio Palos, and Francisco Robles – to shine a light on the courage and perseverance of fellow Mexican journalists who risk their lives to speak truth to power. Learn more here.
The Zapatista Army of National Liberation captured worldwide media attention when in 1994, a hastily gathered group of 3,000 poorly armed fighters seized control of five cities in Chiapas, a state in southern Mexico. Jose Angel Rodriguez, Maruch Santiz, and Tragameluz Collective honor the Zapatista’s legacy of revolt by documenting new tides of resistance in Chiapas, such as the teacher union movement of 2016, the struggle of the Tsotsil Maya people to preserve their traditions, and the plight of internally displaced Mexicans. Organized by the nonprofit Bats’i Lab, the exhibit offers an insider’s take on contemporary politics by Chiapa photographers.
Latin American Fotografía And Ilustración 6
The American Illustration-American Photography (AI-AP) annually calls on photographers and illustrators to submit their best images of Latin America. In its sixth edition, this year’s contest awards 10 image-makers from Colombia, Chile, Venezuela, and the US in the photography category. Winners include Sandra Cattaneo, Juan Cristóbal Cobo, Gaby Herbstein, Oliver Herrera, Aleman, Fabiola Kano, Catalina Kulczar, Dorit Lombroso, Sally Peterson, Joshua Zariñana, and Horacio Siciliano.
The Power of Pink
Pink is for girls, we’re told from a young age, and for that reason, rarely associated with strength, confidence, or courage. A collaborative exhibit among more than 30 young women photographers from New York, Los Angeles, Montana, and Chiapas tells us otherwise. When the nonprofit Lower East Side Girls Club found itself with a surplus of pink prom dresses leftover from a benefit, the organizers of the after-school photo program saw an opportunity to question identity and gender norms through young girls’ relationship to the color pink. The result is a series of surreal photographs of girls donning pink dresses in unconventional manners set against Chicano murals in Los Angeles or the snowy plains of Montana’s Flathead Reservation.
Griselda San Martin, The Wall
At a time when crowds of Trump supporters are clamoring for a new border wall, Spanish photographer Griselda San Martin reminds us of the ramifications that anti-immigrant policies have on communities on both sides of the border. In her series The Wall, San Martin demonstrates the ways families attempt to stay united despite being separated by their legal statuses. At Friendship Park, the only federally designated meeting place between the US and Mexico, San Martin documented loved ones – kept apart by the steel beams of the wall – speak face to face, touch hands, celebrate Mother’s Day together, and reunite for large family reunions, otherwise everyday moments that are made extraordinary by current policies.
Erika P. Rodriguez, The Oldest Colony
The Caribbean island of Puerto Rico has been colonized for the past 500 years, first by the Spanish crown and later, by the US government. The island’s colonial status already generates grand debates on the future and identity of Puerto Rico, where some support the independence movement, while others call for a path toward statehood. But after the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria, Puerto Ricans have again been divided as some decide to stay home while others travel to the mainland for better opportunities. Erika P. Rodriguez’s The Oldest Colony captures all of these frictions and fractures among Puerto Ricans as well as their resilience as they grapple with the legacies of colonialism and strive to create a better future.
Diana Bejarano, Letters from My Exile
Letters from My Exile is a touching examination of the immigrant experience in New York City. Through a series of portraits and hand-written letters addressed to family members abroad, Colombian photographer Diana Bejarano explores the reasons why migrants leave their home countries and the effects these forced separations have on binational families. While the media often portrays Latin American immigrants as a monolith, Bejarano gathers a wide range of subjects in her sepia-tinted portraits, from a teenage girl who misses even her daily fights with her older brother after seven years of separation to a young Mexican woman who longs for a Christmas with her parents in Oaxaca.
Angela Ponce, Ayacucho
The rural town of Ayacucho, Peru is marked by the armed confrontations between the Shining Path guerrilla group and the State that caused tens of thousands of deaths and disappearances throughout the Andean country. As a new era of peace settles in Ayacucho, Lima-born photojournalist Angela Ponce follows the townspeople as they seek justice and truth for the atrocities committed to their loved ones. Throughout her photo essay, Ponce takes a closer look at the way women were affected throughout the war, reporting on child recruitment, sexual abuse, and forced marriages.
Sebastian Hidalgo, Pilsen
Pilsen is a predominantly Mexican-American neighborhood in Chicago’s West Side, and the site of up-and-comer Sebastian Hidalgo’s latest photo series. In Pilsen, Hidalgo guides the viewer through his childhood barrio from the perspective of a Pilsen native at a time when gentrification and displacement are disrupting the neighborhood’s social fabric. His series documents daily life for long-time Pilsen residents and the signs of change to come, captured in images of pop-up art shows and evictions.
Graciela Iturbide, Refugee
Persecution, conflict, violence, and human rights violations forced 68.5 million people last year to leave their homes, a record number of new displaced individuals, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Refugee examines the global refugee crisis at an individual level, covering the specific plights of the Rohingya Muslims of Myanmar, mothers and children from Central African Republic, displaced families in Colombia, asylum seekers in the United States, and refugees fleeing to Europe. One notable standout among the five, internationally acclaimed photographers selected to participate in the project is Graciela Iturbide, the Mexican pioneer of genre-defying photography who paved the way for generations of Latin American photographers.