(Re)present: Black Women In Front of and Behind the Camera by Julie Aguirre

My name is Julianna Aguirre, I’m16 years old currently attending Benjamin Franklin High school. Last Saturday February 25th I has the honor to moderate/host Las Photos project panel. The panel featured the four amazing photographers Kayla Reefer, Dana Washington, Oriana Koren, and Sophia Nahli Allison who’s work ranges in the topics including representations of people and communities of color, urban aesthetics, gender, sexuality, Afrofuturism, food, travel, music, and entertainment. I had the opportunity to talk to the panelist about their experience as photographers and how their identities have impacted their art. Throughout the panel portion I was extremely overwhelmed with excitement and overall confidence. These amazing women taught me that regardless if I’m a women, a women of color that doesn’t portray a smaller image or representation of myself. Contrary it shows how strong and independent a women can be when all odds seem to be against her, and still manages to finish a step above of the task that they have set their mind to. Before the panel I was nervous, but then I was able to see how nervous our panelist were as well, which helped me a lot because what I realized is that regardless on how successful you are, you will always be nervous before any event. After I felt empowered. Not only did it make me feel prod to be a women, but a young women who has also stepped out of her comfort zone and determine to continue to advocate for changes I want to see for my people and community. This experience has helped change my view not only as a student leader, but as a photographer by expanding my vision and not “Go with the flow” but to take a step beyond and create my own art as a representation of who I’am rather than trying to interpreted someone’s else vision.

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