Culture

2016 May Have Been Rough, But This Photographer Believes People In His ‘Hood Are More United

Credit: @jsun217 / Instagram

Photographer Jason Cordova, who was born and raised in Los Angeles, loves to explore different parts of his hometown. Cordova looks to capture the energy, love, and pride within his community through each of his photos. Here’s a glimpse of his amazing story and empowering message.

From the very first time he laid his hands on a camera, Cordova says he was excited about the creative possibilities it represented.

#venicebeach

A photo posted by Jason Cordova (@jsun217) on


“There’s never truly been any conscious direction as far as where I wanted to take it. I was always very fluid with letting the camera sort of be my director.”

“I’ve been shooting seriously for going on about 5 years. I’ve always been somewhat creative whether it was with a camera or music. As an early teen in Los Angeles, I would take my little film camera down to various areas and yards in L.A. and take pictures of all the graffiti that would influence me.”

With every new spot in L.A. that he visited, he also met new people.

#supportrealones

A photo posted by Jason Cordova (@jsun217) on


“That’s the recurring theme in most of my work — it’s getting more involved with the people that I’m capturing and the people that make up the scene that I might be involved in,” Cordova told mitú.

Cordova spent many of his early years shooting photos at the Venice skate park.

Just another Sunday in #venicebeach #veniceskatepark #hvns/la all day….

A photo posted by Jason Cordova (@jsun217) on


“It wasn’t enough for me to take a couple pictures of the skaters and be done,” explained Cordova. “I wanted to be sort of a silent participator in the subject, so I can catch the actual passion and energy involved in whats going on, instead of just being a spectator.”

Cordova’s photography opened his eyes to areas of L.A. that were completely unfamiliar to him.

hope.

A photo posted by Jason Cordova (@jsun217) on


His favorite shots became those of abandoned places. Cordova says he gets a sense of hope from an abandoned building. “L.A. is interesting. Growing up in L.A., we’re very segmented in our neighborhoods. If you live in Inglewood, you might travel to a few surrounding areas, but mainly we stay in our areas,” Cordova told mitú. “The camera and the community of photographers that I’m involved with has pushed us to go further and further until I’ve traversed and explored every little nook and cranny in this city, looking for new angles and new ways to capture the city.”

After becoming intimately familiar with Los Angeles, Cordova says he strongly believes there’s beauty everywhere.

#kingofthestreets #onewayhydraulics #individualscc

A photo posted by Jason Cordova (@jsun217) on


“That’s one thing thats always been important for me to show — that this is a beautiful city, not just a sprawling, desert metropolis.  It’s just a matter of how you’re choosing to look at it and how we’re choosing to present it,” Cordova said.

When Cordova had first started taking photography seriously, he was focused on getting cool snapshots of cars. Now, it’s the people that matter most.

Energy… #LAsundays #fastlyfe #lynchmobb #deptv

A photo posted by Jason Cordova (@jsun217) on


“You see young people, you see older people, you see many different generations, many different gang affiliations,” Cordova told mitú. “Everybody puts everything on hold on Sunday, to come together and celebrate those cultures.”

With every single one of his weekends spent out on the streets of L.A., Cordova explains the powerful sense of hope that he has both felt and witnessed with every picture he has taken for the past five years.

Happy Cinco de Mayo…

A photo posted by Jason Cordova (@jsun217) on


“As I’m out there on a Sunday when the crowd is at its peak, the one thing I always see and feel, overall, more than anything else, is a feeling of hope.”

And all of this hope stems from the unity of the people, which is beautiful.

#LabikeLife #takeover #DepTv

A photo posted by Jason Cordova (@jsun217) on


“For a few hours every week, everybody can come together. All the negativity and all the struggles of everybody’s week before that and week after that suspended for those moments. And there’s a hope that you can gain from that.”

Cordova says he felt L.A. was more united than ever during the 2016 presidential campaign.

#fucktrump #unity #cashmoneycustoms

A photo posted by Jason Cordova (@jsun217) on


“Since Trump started spewing his messages of hate, that caused a major movement,” Cordova said. “I’m hoping that the silver lining is that it forces people to put their bullsh*t on hold and stay together.”

Even with the elections over, the sense of unity and familia remains. Cordova feels that the people of Los Angeles will continue coming together, and that’s what he’s ready to capture with his camera.

#thisislosangeles

A photo posted by Jason Cordova (@jsun217) on


“If we can come together on Saturday night or Sunday afternoon, we can come together on Tuesday. We can come together on Wednesday. And we can come together all the time,” Cordova told mitú. “And it doesn’t need to be something that’s segmented into days of the week. We can come together and be united all the time.” ✊?♡


Diego Huerta Is Capturing The Most Amazing Photos Of Indigenous Mexicans

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To Celebrate Guelaguetza, Here Are Some Mesmerizing Diego Huerta Photos Of Oaxaca’s Indigenous Peoples

Culture

To Celebrate Guelaguetza, Here Are Some Mesmerizing Diego Huerta Photos Of Oaxaca’s Indigenous Peoples

Courtesy of Diego Huerta Studios

Diego Huerta is an Austin-based photographer on a mission to photograph all of the indigenous populations throughout Mexico. His photos are giving people an intimate and sincere look at the lives of the people who have long called Mexico their home. July is a special time in Oaxaca for the indigenous community. The month marks Guelaguetza, a month-long celebration in Oaxaca City, Oaxaca highlighting the indigenous people and their contributions to Mexican culture. In honor of Guelaguetza, here are photos by Huerta taken in Oaxaca showing the vibrant and mesmerizing indigenous community.

Photographer Diego Huerta is capturing the wonder and majesty of Mexico’s indigenous communities.

Courtesy of Diego Huerta Studio

Huerta wants to give people a true sense of what indigenous communities look like. There is something about seeing the communities people talk about instead of just reading about them.

“Nowadays the information that we have about the native peoples in Mexico is only numbers and statistics,” Huerta told mitú. “There’s no photographic documentation of each of the towns, we don’t know where they are, we don’t know how they live, we don’t know how they look.”

Huerta earns the trust of the communities and gets intimate photos that show the beauty within these communities.

Courtesy of Diego Huerta Studios

Huerta doesn’t just walk into these spaces with his camera snapping. The photographer makes his presence and intentions known to earn their trust and the chance to document their existence.

“Whenever I come to an indigenous village, the first thing I do is talk to people, be interested in knowing how they live, be simply a human talking with another human,” Huerta says. “Then I tell them what I do and I ask them to be able to portray them, which in most cases they say yes.”

Huerta has spent years documenting Oaxaca and absorbing the culture in the southern Mexican state.

Courtesy of Diego Huerta Studios

“I have spent six years traveling through Oaxaca, and every year people knew my work more, which made things easier for me because it was the same people who invited me to their villages to portray them,” Huerta says.

As someone who has experienced the incredible celebration of Guelaguetza, Huerta has one thing to say.

Courtesy of Diego Huerta Studios

Guelaguetza is more than a celebration tied to a specific time of year.

“To live the Guelaguetza is to start living,” Huerta proclaims.” There are so many emotions to see the eight regions of the State of Oaxaca gathered in the same place that you don’t need to be Mexican to get excited, it’s simply a wonderful and unique world that’s lived there.”

It is crucial to document and capture images of the indigenous communities for several reasons.

Courtesy of Diego Huerta Studios

Huerta believes that there is value in capturing proof of the indigenous communities to preserve our own history. These are the people who lived on these lands first and are therefore the basis for the people now inhabiting the land.

He wants to make sure that everyone who sees his images understands the greatness of human beings.

Courtesy of Diego Huerta Studios

Huerta explains that getting people to see the greatness of human beings is the main objective of his indigenous photo series. By understanding the greatness of people and the indigenous communities, Huerta says that will lead to us understanding ourselves.

Huerta’s work within Mexico’s indigenous communities has endeared him to the very people he set out to document.

Courtesy of Diego Huerta Studios

“On my last trip to the State of Sonora with the Yaqui people, I felt that I was already part of them,” Huerta recalls. “It was difficult to be accepted but after three years they saw me as someone they trusted and that made me feel very special.”

READ: Diego Huerta Is Capturing The Most Amazing Photos Of Indigenous Mexicans

LA Is No Stranger To Earthquakes But Many On Twitter Forgot How To React, Here’s How To Stay Safe During The Next Earthquake

Things That Matter

LA Is No Stranger To Earthquakes But Many On Twitter Forgot How To React, Here’s How To Stay Safe During The Next Earthquake

KCAL9 / Twitter

So let’s be real – California is no stranger to earthquakes. It’s a well-known active fault zone. But that doesn’t mean when one hits we still don’t freak out!

So when last week’s earthquakes struck Southern California, all of social media was freaking out, particularly because they were the biggest earthquakes the region had felt in 20 years.

First came a 6.6 temblor that rattled everyone from Las Vegas to Los Angeles.

Credit: @LatinoKidProbs / Twitter

The first quake struck near the town of Ridgecrest and was felt as far away as Las Vegas, LA, and even in Mexico. Needless to say people were pretty freaked out. But this wasn’t the end of it.

The very next morning, a 7.1 earthquake struck the same area, sending shockwaves across Los Angeles – where the shaking was pretty intense.

Credit: @THR / Twitter

Thankfully, none of the quakes caused any major injuries or deaths and damage was minimal – especially in the Los Angeles area.

Of course, Twitter was lit up with all sorts of reactions.

Like this was defintiely how some of my tios and primos reacted to the quake. Though I think some also tried to play it off totally cool.

Some pointed out the all to real scenario of some of our papis running to safety at all costs.

I mean my papi would never do this but I can see their point…

While others pointed out the potential nightmare of having to lead all of your familia to safety after a major quake.

Credit: @M4NI4C_

I mean especially if you’re all together with your tías, primos, and hermanos – like imagine!

Some Latinos questioned the dramatic reactions of others, since Latin America knows earthquakes all too well.

Credit: @<higulzDaPro / Twitter

I mean just two years ago Mexico City was rattled by a violent earthquake that leveled parts of the city and killed hundreds of people. While Guatemala and El Salvador have all been hit by major earthquakes larger than those that hit Southern California.

Some pointed out the great examples made by the local news anchors who experienced the earthquake live on the air.

Bravo KCAL9 for setting such a good example for those of us who weren’t totally sure what to do.

While other’s pointed out the real lack of resources available in Spanish.

Credit: @patsulbaran / Twitter

This is a real liability for the Latino community but also other minority communities that don’t speak English. Without access to proper resources and information, many face greater risks of injury among other risks.

For information on earthquake safety en Español, haz clic aqui.

Although the quakes didn’t cause any severe injuries or deaths, they’re a wake up call to Californians to get prepared for the “Big One.”

Every Californian should have an emergency kit. And every kit should have plenty of water – enough to last you at least three days. You should also stock up on non-perishable foods (think canned tuna, beans, vegetables, snacks), you’ll also need a three day supply of these items. A flash light, batteries, first aid kit, medications, copies of important documents – all of these items are essential to keep in an earthquake emergency kit.

And as a reminder, here are some basic tips on how to stay safe during the next earthquake.

Remember in school when they told us to run for a closet or door frame for safety? While those areas are still considered safe to hide in during a quake, the new recommendations tell people to seek shelter under a desk, table, or other sturdy piece of furniture.

Memorize this list so that the next time a quake strikes, you’ll be better prepared to help yourself, your amigos, and your famlia.

READ: She Saved Lives During the 2017 Mexico Earthquake And Now After 10 Years Of Bravery She’s Getting Her Retirement Party

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