I made photographs, videos and installations that attempt to understand my role as a conflict-zone citizen. My images function as a visual representation of the inherited conflicts that encompass the territory of the southern US and Northern Mexico. I focus on the various ways Northern Mexican society has normalized violence and the role that colonization by both the Spanish and NAFTA has played in this normalization.
I started to make work in order understand my past and current reality living in Ciudad Juarez. During my teenage years, when the drug war was at it’s full potential, I wasn’t able to imagine an alternative reality and the concept of safety was something I understood as unreachable. I started to camouflage the violence lived in my city by highlighting the positive aspects of Mexican society: color, friendly personalities, fiestas and humor. My images function as a space that allows negotiation between the positive characteristics of Mexican culture and the violence that encompass it.
As I started questioning the root of the normalization of violence, I also questioned my role as an image maker in today’s society. I decided to use subtle acts of violence as a strategy to not perpetuate the violence cycle lived in Ciudad Juarez. I aim for my work to be aesthetically pleasing, while simultaneously confronting the viewer with an eerie situation to reference the process in which normalization occurs. As Sontag states in his book In Regarding the Pain of Others: “Narratives can make us understand. Photographs do something else: they haunt us”.