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

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.” ✊?♡

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New Netflix Docuseries Explores The Summer The Night Stalker Terrorized Los Angeles


New Netflix Docuseries Explores The Summer The Night Stalker Terrorized Los Angeles

Bettmann / Getty Images

Richard Ramirez, a.k.a. The Night Stalker, spent the summer of 1985 terrorizing Los Angeles. Ramirez murdered 13 people during his reign of terror in Southern California. Netflix’s new docuseries is exploring the crime by interviewing law enforcement and family of the victims.

“Night Stalker: The Hunt For a Serial” killer is now streaming on Netflix.

“Night Stalker: The Hunt For a Serial Killer” is the latest Netflix docuseries diving into the true crimes that have shaped American society. Richard Ramirez is one of the most prolific serial killers of all time and single-handedly terrorized Los Angeles during the summer of 1985.

Ramirez fundamentally changed Los Angeles and the people who live there. The serial killer was an opportunistic killer. He would break into homes using unlocked doors and opened windows. Once inside, he would rape, murder, rob, and assault the people inside the home.

The documentary series explores just how Ramirez was able to keep law enforcement at bay for so long. The killer did not have a standard modus operandi. His victims ran the gamut of gender, age, and race. There was no indicator as to who could be next. He also rarely used the same weapon when killing his victims. Some people were stabbed to death while others were strangled and others still were bludgeoned.

While not the first telling of Ramirez’s story, it is the most terrifying account to date.

“Victims ranged in age from 6 to 82,” director Tiller Russell told PEOPLE. “Men, women, and children. The murder weapons were wildly different. There were guns, knives, hammers, and tire irons. There was this sort of feeling that whoever you were, that anybody could be a victim and anybody could be next.”

Family members of the various victims speak in the documentary series about learning of the horror committed to them. People remember grandparents and neighbors killed by Ramirez. All the while, police followed every lead to make sure they left no stone unturned.

“Night Stalker: The Hunt For a Serial Killer” is now streaming on Netflix.

READ: Here’s How An East LA Neighborhood Brought Down One Of America’s Most Notorious Serial Killers

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A Brazilian Photographer Is Documenting Indigenous Tribes In The Amazon


A Brazilian Photographer Is Documenting Indigenous Tribes In The Amazon

ricardostuckert / Instagram

Indigenous tribes are the most important connection between man and nature. These tribes have lived off the land before modern society and many have never interacted with modern society. Ricardo Stuckert is going through and documenting the indigenous Amazonian tribes in Brazil.

Ricardo Stuckert is photographing indigenous tribespeople in the Brazilian Amazon.

The indigenous community is something sacred that most people agrees should be protected. They are more connected to the land than we are. Their customs and traditions are more ingrained in this world than ours are and it is so important to protect them.

The indigenous community of Brazil has been subjected to horrible attacks and conditions from the Brazilian government.

One of the most widespread attacks against the indigenous Brazilians living in the Amazon has been for the land. President Jair Bolsonaro has tried to take land away from the indigenous communities to allow for logging and mining. A bill he sent to the congress sought to exploit the land for commercial purposes, even legalizing some of the attacks we have seen on indigenous people since President Bolsonaro took power.

Stuckert wants to preserve the indigenous culture and customs through photos.

“I think it is important to disseminate Brazilian culture and show the way that native peoples live today,” Stuckert told DailyMail. “In 1997, I started to photograph the Amazon and had my first contact with the native people of Brazil. Since then, I have tried to show the diversity and plurality of indigenous culture, as well as emphasize the importance of the Indians as guardians of the forest. There are young people who are being born who have never seen or will see an Indian in their lives.”

The photographer believes that using photography is the best way to share culture.

“I think that photography has this power to transpose a culture like this to thousands of people,” Stuckert told DailyMail. “The importance of documentary photojournalism is to undo stigmas and propagate a culture that is being lost. We need to show the importance of indigenous people to the world, for the protection of our forests.”

You can see all of Stuckert’s photos on his Instagram.

Stuckert’s work to documented the indigenous community is giving people an insight into a life many never see. Brazil is home to about 210 million people with around 1 million having indigenous heritage. The diverse indigenous community of Brazil is something important to showcase and that’s what Stuckert is doing.

READ: Indigenous Photographer Diego Huerta’s Photos Of Oaxaca’s Indigenous People Celebrates Their Beauty

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