“Every moment is an organizing opportunity, every person a potential activist, every minute a chance to change the world.” — Dolores Huerta
COMPATHY PHOTO PROJECT 2017, 2018
Latinx have been historically underrepresented in mainstream media and negative stereotypes persist in popular culture. Greatly ignored is the fact that Latin America and the Caribbean are composed of 33 independent countries and 15 territories with a variety of races, languages, and cultures. Evidently we get fused into one box in the U.S. but we’re much more than exotic foods, conflict zones, and dance music.
As part of the Central American diaspora residing in Florida, I wished that my children were exposed to positive portrayals that they could relate to, so I set out to identify, document, and publish visual stories of empowered Latina women and LGBTQ+ in my community. While doing research for this project I became familiar with a new word, compathy, which evokes emotional solidarity – sharing joy and sorrow, walking in each other’s shows with compassion and empathy (not pity).
Compathy Photo Project is about the extraordinary, sometimes invisible, people I met who are overcoming challenges while supporting others on their journey. Their stories are riveting and their wisdom is timeless.
SOBRE EL PROYECTO FOTOGRAFICO COMPATIA
Latinxs han estado históricamente poco representadxs en los medios de comunicación y persisten los estereotipos negativos en la cultura popular. Muy ignorado es el hecho de que América Latina y el Caribe se compone de 33 países independientes y 15 territorios con una variedad de razas, idiomas y culturas. Evidentemente, nos fusionan en una sola caja en los EE. UU. Pero somos mucho más que alimentos exóticos, zonas de guerra y música bailable.
Como parte de la diáspora centroamericana que reside en Florida, me preocupaba que mis hijxs no estuviera expuestxs a suficientes representaciones positivas, así que me propuse identificar, documentar y publicar historias visuales de mujeres latinas empoderadas y LGBTQ + en mi comunidad. Mientras investigaba para este proyecto, me familiaricé con una nueva palabra, compatía, que evoca solidaridad emocional: compartir alegría y tristeza, caminar en los espectáculos de los demás con compasión y empatía (no lástima). El Proyecto Fotográfico Compatía se trata de las personas extraordinarias, pero invisibles, que conocí que superan desafíos mientras apoyan a otros en su viaje. Sus historias son fascinantes y su sabiduría es ancestral.
Carmen Angélica Pérez Aburto
Lady J Monroe
She was born and raised in East Germany. She walked over to West Germany for the first time when the Berlin Wall fell in 1989 when finally reuniting with family members. She is a psychologist, a therapeutic horse riding assistant to people with disabilities. She is the mother of three boys.
She is an artist and graphic designer based in Miami. She is the founder of The Artful Activist and Inspiration Pollination online artist communities. She is also the co-organizer of the Artist March in Florida. Melanie is a powerhouse. An environmentalist and socio political activist.
Danielle is an ally too. She is a film and stage actress based in Naples. She pushes all kind of boundaries with the roles she takes on the stage.
Holley is a public health nurse and midwife. She also trained with traditional Mexican parteras while she lived in Mexico for many years. She is an anti-war activist spending many years in Nicaragua in the 1980s and leading the Veteran for Peace Walk through combat zones north of Managua. Today she is a water protector and holds water blessing ceremonies all over Florida. Holley is based in Fort Myers.
Betty is a Miccosukee and Seminole grandmother. She is an educator and conservationist of her home the Everglades. Betty lead the Walk for Mother Earth for three years with her uncle Bobbie C. Billy (d. 2018). She is the only indigenous woman airboat owner and operator.
Wisdom Keepers Photo Project 2017-2018
Wisdom Keepers is a collection of photos with quotes from 33 outstanding women from diverse backgrounds in Southwest Florida. This collection was presented at the United Nations 62nd Commission on the Status of Women in New York City.
Portraits of Pride
Portraits of Pride 2017-2018
The first ever Pride Fest in Naples, Florida took place on June 13, 2017. People were pouring in with big smiles on their faces while rainbow flags waved all over the park…history in the making.