Wednesday, February 07, 2007

To Whom It May Concern:

I have always been fascinated by the way others live out their lives. From documenting foreign lands to those in my own backyard, I use photography as a way of allowing images to open doors of conversation and windows of thought.
I began asking myself about what is means to truly be an American for those who are working here but living out their lives elsewhere. What happens when you are constantly on the move and your home is in two vastly different places with distinct cultures and values? What are the little things that the workers keep around them to make them feel like they are ‘home’? Can this place ever really be home? What traditions and rituals are enacted in America and perhaps modified before traveling back to Mexico where they are again changing? I chose to focus on immigrant migrant workers from Mexico who travel picking fruit.
When I began this project I felt as if I was going in with eyes wide shut. We all have heard of the issues of illegal and legal immigrants working in the U.S. in the news recently. I never knew that I knew so little about people working just behind the scenes in every part of American industry, and their plight to simply do a job. Once my eyes slowly started opening, I could finally see beyond the notion of a ‘migratory immigrant’ in America. I found names and faces to put to real, warm, caring, compassionate, hard-working, fun-loving people. The kind of people I would spend months of my life documenting because I feel their lives are so compelling and complex. The kind of people who I drink coffee with and consider my friends. The kind of people who embodied many traditions and rituals. The kind of people who are changing the landscape of American life.