Please tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from, where do you live now? Your background with photography, how and when you were drawn to the street genre.
I am based in Ciudad Nezahualcóyotl, a big city near Mexico City, and I have lived in this city since I was born. Neza is an eclectic place because of its multicultural nature, since it was founded by people who immigrated from other states of the country, and this aspect is evident when you walk in it. Many great memories that I have, and that have marked me, have to do with the streets.
I studied B.S. in Informatics. I started to work in different companies, but one day I realized that this did not make me happy. So I went backpacking, and when the trip ended, I started searching for what to do — I had always been interested in artistic issues, but never could start at it. Soon, I found a community cultural center where they taught a workshop of basic photography and digital photography, and that’s when everything began. During these workshops, I took a class with Mark Powell, and this was when I began to experience the pleasure of hunting photos in the streets of my own city, and in the places that I frequented — nearby cities, and public transport. That was my beginning.
How do you define “street photography” for yourself?
Street photography for me involves relearning how to look — at my environment, at others, and even at myself. I am amazed to appreciate in the small details that surround me, the accelerated morphology of my own and other cities — and this speaks a lot to who we are as its inhabitants. Doing street photography has also involved having a moment to think, and to reflect while on the road — during these journeys, there is a constant stalking not only of photos, but also of ideas, to continue creating.
Does your local situation affect your work?
Currently in Mexico, one of the biggest human rights crises is being lived — the rights of women. This country has become a hostile ground for Mexican women to such a degree, that we have failed to guarantee the right to life. This not only affects me as a woman who does street photography, but also as an inhabitant, and as a human being. That is why in my work, the themes around women are kept present, so that I can continue to observe this situation from my trench.
In what ways do you think being a woman has affected your work?
It affects me in many ways, not only in the themes I approach, but also in the moment in which I am facing an artistic discipline where only men have space. From the fact that men consider that we women have “advantages” in street, to the fact that they do not allow, or they invalidate our own ways of looking at and living the street. The challenges that exist, or exist in street photography, are just one example of all the schemes and stereotypes that we have to bring down in so many other areas. Men have always spoken for us, it’s time to shout that we can do it for ourselves.
Color or black and white, digital or film?
I try not to limit myself. In addition to street photos, I try to do experimental work mixing different genres, so I do not limit myself too much in technical aspects, because this always depends on what I want to say.
What photographers can you name who are the most inspirational to you?
Definitely the work and history of Vivian Maier and Diane Arbus, as well as Martha Cooper, are a great inspiration for me. But whenever I meet women who do street photography, I like to read what they have had to face in this world of men to continue taking pictures, that motivates me a lot.
Is there a special project you are working on? Or recurring themes you are often drawn to?
Yes, my current focus is on violence against women, especially in danger zones around Mexico City. I have been working on this subject to bring more awareness to this great problem that exists in my country and in my city, and my perspective is from the street. Along with this, I’m also doing my street photography and street portraits, where the central characters are normally women.