With this project “CHAMPURRIA”, I want to engage in a conversation about the impact of the colonial gaze on minorities and indigenous people in a modern context. I seek to use photography as a way to connect with and internalize what my subjects are sharing with me and learn about myself and how to approach my misplaced identity as a racially ambiguous, latinx, immigrant.
This series is a collaboration with and exploration of the work and life of the artistic collective Carrion+Catrileo. Antonio and Manuel are partners who have immigrated from Chile to the USA to pursue their PHD education, and continue to develop a body of work based on creating an identitary space that has not been represented in society yet. These images explore their adaptation process to San Diego as creators and individuals. I perform my role as a welcoming ally embodying their journey as an indigenous, queer couple in a contemporary western academic context. Together we began the journey of reclaiming territory literally and conceptually.
The images presented are a combination of documentary photography and portraiture style. My visual exploration of them is in response to the impersonal and subjugating way indigenous people were portrayed and classified from the beginnings of the history of photography. I am interested in the subjects being presented as unique beings, with depth, dreams, goals, aspirations, etc, with the intention of dignifying their individuality and autonomy to the world.