Here There, Acá Allá 2015Photographic Dialogues Between Generations and Cultures
Curated by: Susana Arellano and Rafael Gamo
February 21–28, 2015
Opening reception: Friday, February 20, 6-9 pm
Here There, Acá Allá is an intergenerational photography workshop that brings together the first and second generations of Mexican-American immigrant families. The title refers to the dual experience of growing up and living between two different cultures, using two different languages and developing an enriched identity. For five months, children ages seven to twelve along with their parents use disposable 35mm film cameras to take photographs of their daily lives, family relationships and social structures, among other subjects. Photography acts as a platform for exchanging points of views, sharing feelings and exploring cultural identities. The use of film is not meant as a nostalgic aesthetic, but rather as a pedagogic strategy aimed to strengthen the children’s notions of responsibility. Analog technology, unlike digital, does not allow one to view and erase the images, resulting in a more spontaneous learning process that encourages decision-making before taking a shot as well as analysis afterward. The workshop culminates with a series of discussions between the children and adult participants, where photographs become the catalyst for sharing experiences, comparing approaches and learning from each other, thus fostering a better understanding between generations.
This second iteration of the workshop was possible through a collaborative effort between Mano a Mano: Mexican Culture Without Borders and Masa, which aims to make art accessible to children in the South Bronx. The selection of photographs and audio excerpts from their conversations in this exhibition represent the capstone of the 2014 workshop. The slideshow includes images from past participants, and the sound booth invites attendants to record their own experiences, enlarging the project’s archive. This exhibition is not only a cross-section of the participants’ work, but also a window that looks into the joys and struggles of being a Mexican-American immigrant family in the U.S. Photographs and conversations coalesce to bridge the gap between two generations and two cultures.
Zailie Faith Díaz – Rosalba Reyes Pérez
Janet Hernández Romero – Paula Romero Salazar
Brenda Hernández Romero – Paula Romero Salazar