Capturing Intimate Moments of the Latin Kings

Photo from Nicolas Enriquez's "Bloodline" series.

Photo from Nicolas Enriquez’s “The Bloodline” series

While a student at the International Center of Photography, Nicolas Enriquez, 21, took on the project of capturing the private lives of members of the Latin Kings, the largest Hispanic street gang in the U.S. with a membership of 35,000.

Bushwick Daily’s Katarina Hybenova reports from a Photo Brigade event in which the photojournalist, originally from Colombia, spoke about his photo series, entitled “The Bloodline.” The name refers to the New York state chapter of the gang.

Enriquez captured moments of intimacy – garnered through meals, walks and car rides he shared with members, as well as visits to their homes and parties in Brooklyn – that humanize the men. At the same time, Hybenova writes, the photographs tell “a story of solitude, oppression, and a lack of freedom — a life that is closer to a life of an inmate than that of a free man.”

“There is a lack of freedom about what they do. They live almost like in jail, there are a lot of police officers around them, every window has bars on it. They live in these projects and that’s their life, their business,” said Nicolas. “Living in projects is by itself a dangerous thing,” he explained. “There is a lot of claustrophobia, a lot of police officers, and other gang members are your neighbors. All this stuff happens in front of your door.”

How did Enriquez ever manage to gain the trust of the Latin Kings? Find out, and learn the photographer’s biggest takeaway from the experience, at Bushwick Daily.

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