Photos that Got Immigrant Families to Talk

(Photo via Feet in 2 Worlds)

The “Here There, Acá Allá” photo gallery displays shots of regular life in Brooklyn. (Photo via Feet in 2 Worlds)

An new photo exhibit showcases more than just images – it grew from a class at Mano a Mano: Mexican Culture Without Borders in Washington Heights that brought immigrant parents and their kids together for rare quality time, reports Feet in 2 Worlds‘ Cristina DC Pastor.

Here There, Acá Allá: Photographic Dialogues Between Generations and Cultures” features 50 images that came from a photo class of husband-and-wife teachers Rafael Gamo Fassi and Susana Arellano Alvarado. They explain how the process worked:

(…) For five weeks, the students took pictures and used the photos to “exchange points of view, share feelings and explore their cultural identities,” said Fassi, a Texas-born photographer and architect.

All the students are Mexican immigrants, except for a pair who are from Ecuador.

“It was a very important moment especially for the parents, who do not have the time to spend with their children because they’re usually busy at work,” said Alvarado, an architect and urban planner. Using disposable cameras, the students – five adults and five kids from ages 7 to 11 –took photos of Brooklyn life that captured Mexican life and American life, among other themes and situations.

The exhibit opens August 16 and will be on display at 601 Artspace, 601 West 26th St., in Chelsea, on selected dates through August 25.

Luz Aguirre, the program director of Mano a Mano, attended the classes with her daughter Eve. The sessions elicited discussions they might normally not have shared.

“We spoke a lot about things we wouldn’t otherwise,” Aguirre told Feet in 2 Worlds. “I thought she knew how and why I came to the U.S., not because I remember having a conversation about it.” She added how she shared with Eve through their photo sessions “things I’m passionate about.”

The classes were “more about how they see things and how to express what they were feeling,” said Fassi, rather than learning the technical or artistic elements of photography.

The exhibit also features recorded discussions between parents and kids on growing up in Mexico or the U.S.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *