Film is not dead. After relocating from Spain to West Texas, experiencing a breakup, and mourning after my uncle’s passing, I had to teach myself that film wasn’t dead. I used every bit of the emotional trauma as fuel to ignite the development of my photography. The DIY theme of punk culture has encouraged me to learn on my own from books, as well as through trial and error.
The images captured portray the arid landscapes of West Texas with an ink of controversy from the recent racist events that are happening across America. Moving to West Texas, a place where racism and sexism are heavily prevalent, was a shocking experience since I grew up in Madrid, where cultural diversity is celebrated. I was surprised by how quickly I have fallen in love with Lubbock, Texas. Each photo serves as a symbol for what I hold onto dearly, while creating a home away from home. As an advocate for the equality of all living things, I want to help my brothers and sisters of all racial, ethnic and religious backgrounds. Although the same photo can be captured when using digital or film mediums, the same story the eye follows would never exist. Film allows me to tell the story of a specific person, place, or item while incorporating my own personalized style into each piece. From capturing to developing my work, I’ve noticed how much more passion I put into my film projects compared to my previous digital endeavors. Film is far from dead, in fact, it has brought me closer to people, pushed me outside of my comfort zone; made my move less of a transition and more of a journey.
Instead of planning a shoot, exploring Lubbock by foot allowed me organically stumble across the natural beauty and history this town exudes. Prior to pairing up with Jonathan, the model present in the photos, he and I sat down to discuss the hardships he faces as an African American living in America. Equality, respect, and efficiency were the major themes I gathered from his responses. This conversation inspired to explore West Texas, in hopes of finding the key themes Jonathan said his life story needed. After finding the presence of the three themes, and then capturing them, the only problem I faced was finding a place to develop my work. Living on a college budget pushed me to build a dark room and a development studio in my bathroom. This process made the experience I have with my work more emotional, real, and more me. Film is not dead, in fact, it allows me to share stories on the lives of many individuals.