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How A Camera Lens Made These Officers Have A Change Of Heart

Artist and photographer Jason Cordova has explored some of the most overlooked spots in his hometown of Los Angeles. And with every moment he captures, there is a story. Check out what happened when he ventured into a downtown L.A. alley.

As Cordova started taking some shots, he noticed he wasn’t the only person in the alley.

reflections of Los Angeles… #thisislosangeles #streetdreamsmag

A photo posted by Jason Cordova (@jsun217) on


“I just happened to be there one afternoon. I was trying to catch some shadows and there was a man sitting there in his little corner, he had built his little shelter trying to stay out of the rain,” Cordova told mitú.

“As I’m standing there shooting, these two guys walk up. They’re part of the downtown L.A. security team. They start to ask me what I’m doing and I looked at them, like, ‘I’m in Los Angeles taking pictures, what the f*ck does it look like I’m doing?'”

Then the two security officers started to give the homeless man a hard time.

#thisislosangeles

A photo posted by Jason Cordova (@jsun217) on


“They turn around and start harassing him, telling him that he needs to get out and move his stuff,” Cordova told mitú. “So I stood there and I took pictures of them, and hopefully I made them feel a little uncomfortable and made them think about how stupid and unnecessary it was what they were doing.”

“I understand there are rules and laws in our society, but at the same time I think the human heart at some point should be involved and kind of dictate your moves on a daily basis.”

Cordova told mitú, “Maybe the law is that people can’t sleep in certain places, but at the same time it’s raining and this man has nowhere else to go. The human heart at some point should take over.”

stay grateful… #streetdreamsmag

A photo posted by Jason Cordova (@jsun217) on


“As a photographer I’m just capturing moments. I’m just capturing the situations. There’s nothing I can really do, but at the same time I want to stay close. And let them know that man I’m not only watching, I’m documenting this. And they actually turned around and walked away.”

And having the officers walk away is exactly what Jason wanted.

Credit: jsun217 / Instagram

“I was just hoping by being really blatant and pointing that camera at them, that they would stop for a second, even just half a second. Like you know what, ‘what are we doing?’ The dude was just laying under a cardboard little hut so that he could stay out of the rain for half an hour.”

Whether being photographed simply made the two men feel uncomfortable, or whether being documented made them more conscious of their actions, the click of the camera is what helped change the situation. And Jason’s words are true, with everything that you do, no matter what it is, “The human heart at some point should take over.” ❤️


READ: One Dodger Clown’s Mission to Help L.A.’s Homeless

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A Brazilian Photographer Is Documenting Indigenous Tribes In The Amazon

Culture

A Brazilian Photographer Is Documenting Indigenous Tribes In The Amazon

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.

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A post shared by Ricardo Stuckert (@ricardostuckert)

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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A Photographer Is Capturing New Mexico’s Chicano Community Through Portraits

Culture

A Photographer Is Capturing New Mexico’s Chicano Community Through Portraits

Photographer Frank Blazquez is paying a loving homage to Chicano culture in the Land of Enchantment. The photographer is showing the world what it looks like to be Chicano in New Mexico to highlight the diversity in a shared experience.

Frank Blazquez wants to show the world what Chicano culture looks like outside of California.

“I am an Illinois transplant, so I was fascinated, and eventually obsessed, with the differences in my ethnicity’s iconography,” Blazquez says about the inspiration behind his project “Barrios de Nuevo Mexico: Southwest Stories of Vindication.” “For example, in New Mexico, as opposed to the Midwest and East Coast, there is a strong connection to American geography. You’ll see Latino people with New Mexico state symbols tattooed directly on their faces and skulls. But refreshing similarities such as hairstyle also struck me.”

The other reason Blazquez started to document these lives was because of the devastating and widespread impact of drug addiction.

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Sleepy with his Daughter

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Blazquez admits to once having a drug problem and eventually overcoming those struggles. Some of the people that he photographs are former drug users or others who have sought redemption.

“I started in 2016 just walking around Albuquerque’s Central Avenue in the War Zone earning my street photography badge. When I almost died a couple of times, I started to use my Instagram page more often to set up shoots and contact homies from my former days of opiate abuse,” Blazquez explains. “My friend Emilio created the random handle @and_frank13 and I kept it after he died in 2017 from drug complications; an event that made me work harder to present portraits of New Mexicans demonstrating faces of dignity, hence my project ‘Barrios de Nuevo Mexico: Southwest Stories of Vindication.'”

Photography was a passion for Blazquez that grew into something bigger than him as he learned.

Blazquez’s interest in photography and love of his culture combined to create a photo series celebrating the people in his life. Blazquez turned his lens to the people in his life to capture a beauty he saw in his own community that is often overlooked and ignored.

Blazquez is hoping to show people that Chicano culture has spread farther than California because of an exodus.

“Homies escaping the three strikes law in California created an exodus in the ’90s that transferred new symbols from organizations, namely 18th Street, Sureños, and Norteños,” Blazquez explains about the Chicano community in New Mexico. “As New Mexico is an expanse of serene beauty that attracts people to escape from former lives, in turn, symbols were exchanged such as black and gray tattoo and font styles with purist craft structure adhering to Southwest archetypes—fat ass cursive and serif fonts with ornate filigree stems.”

He acknowledges that California is known for its Chicano and Latino communities but there is so much more to teach people.

“LA fingers do not represent the millions of brown people outside of California and it certainly does not represent native-born New Mexicans,” Blazquez explains. “I learned the Latino experience is entirely different in various locations—the California stereotype doesn’t carry itself across America. It’s enlightening to know that brown culture grows and adapts independently.”

The photographer also wants to teach people that the Latino community is vast and diverse.

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Homemade New Mexican Tattoos // #dukecity

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“That the Latin-spectrum in America is not pigeonholed to any sole category,” Blazquez says. “Knowing that the labels Mexican, Mexican-American, Chican (a/o), Latin (a/o), Hispanic, Mexica (not Hispanic nor Latino), Indo-Latino, Afro-Latin (a/o) are just several of the hundreds of labels available to classify my culture’s diaspora is important.”

“Duke City Diaries” is a mini-series on YouTube that Blazquez has produced to take you deeper into the lives of the people in his photos.

“I knew the profound faces from my 2010’s New Mexico experience would make great art and explain an important POC narrative at the same time,” Blazquez says. “Creating the short YouTube documentary series “Duke City Diaries” was also an offshoot from my portraiture and one that created distinct reception. The hateful and racist comments kept me moving forward to show a larger audience that racism still exists.”

Blazquez is currently working on a new photo series called Mexican Suburbs diving deeper into his themes of Chicano culture and the opioid crisis.

READ: Photographer Diego Huerta Took An Update Photo Of The Most Beautiful Girl In Mexico

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