Latin American Foto Festival

Latin American Foto Festival


Jul 14 - Jul 31, 2022


Opening Reception: Thur, July 14 I 6-9PM I RSVP HERE
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The Bronx Documentary Center (BDC) will hold its 5th Annual Latin American Foto Festival (LAFF) from July 14- 31, featuring large-scale photographs throughout the Melrose neighborhood by both emerging and established, award-winning photographers. The Festival will include works from Colombia, Argentina, Chile, Venezuela, Mexico, El Salvador and more–photographs representing long-term projects on family, memory, culture, and other social issues. As part of the festival, the BDC will hold in-person workshops, tours, panel discussions and other community events.

Featuring: Sergio Ortiz Borbolla | José Cabezas | Héctor Guerrero | Yael Martínez | Tamara Merino | Nuevayorkinos | Alejandro Olivares | Paola Paredes | Sofía Torres Prida | Annie Y. Saldaña | VIST Projects

The Latin American Foto Festival is curated by Michael Kamber and Cynthia Rivera.

Mexican photographer Yael Martínez and filmmaker Sergio Ortiz Borbolla have spent time along the migration route between Honduras, Mexico, and the United States to meet with people who are taking extreme risks to achieve their dream of a better life in a safe place. 

Volcano Land by Hector Guerrero is not only a portrait of Mexico's volcanoes or of the dangers they pose but also captures the poverty and violence that threaten some local populations more than lava or ash. 

Danzantes de la Historia is a visual investigation by José Cabezas of the tradition of the Los Historiantes dance in El Salvador. 




Chilean photographer Tamara Merino’s project Isolated Soul evokes a deep emotional state of nostalgia and profound melancholy, known In Portuguese/Brazilian as “saudade”, a word originally used by African people forced into slavery, the very same who today shape the Afro-Brazilian community. 

Nuevayorkinos, founded by Djali Brown-Cepeda, is a digital archive documenting and preserving New York City Latin and Caribbean culture and history through family photographs and stories. 

Alejandro Olivares lived with and photographed the life of young people on the outskirts of Santiago, Chile, showing the suffering through the early stages of their contact with violence, drugs, loneliness, and social exclusion.

Skin Deep is an interactive photographic experience by Paola Paredes featuring fifteen stories that represent diverse sexualities and gender identities of the queer community in Ecuador.

In her series Dreams and Glory, Sofìa Torres Prida documents baseball as a main pillar of Dominican culture, but also pays homage to these icons for their sports performances and for their contributions off the field. 

Casitas is a long-term photography project by Annie Y. Saldaña that documents those Puerto Ricans who live in wooden homes in the mountainous areas of the island.

Imaginar El Fuego De La Memoria is a collective project produced by VIST Projects and directed by Jorge Panchoaga that aims to share narrative and visual skills with students and Afro communities in different parts of Latin America, seeking to more closely align the relationship between memory, oral tradition, and imagination.


Spanish translations: Maria De La Paz Galindo

The 5th Annual Latin American Foto Festival is made possible by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and by City Council member Rafael Salamanca; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul;  the NY State Legislature; the National Endowment for the Arts; and Con Edison.

The outdoor exhibits were printed by







• Latin American Foto Festival Opening Reception | Thursday, Jul 14, 2022 6-9PM

• Block Party I Saturday, Jul 16, 11AM - 6PM
The BDC annual block party returns on Saturday, July 16th, from 11AM-6PM, at 151st St and Courtlandt Ave. The event will include free portraits, exhibition tours in both English and Spanish, family-friendly activities and games, face painting, arts and crafts, sports, and more!

• Book Launch: Javier Álvarez 'Predio' I Friday, Jul 22, 7PM
Join the BDC for a book launch with photographer Javier Álvarez as he presents his new photobook Predio. Alvarez's project Predio shows the intimate relationships of 200 families living inside an abandoned building in the city of São Paulo, Brazil.

• Book Launch: Oscar B. Castillo 'Esos Que Saben' I Saturday, Jul 23, 7PM
Author and photographer Oscar B. Castillo will discuss his new photobook Esos Que Saben which explores prison, change, dreams, the Free Convict collective, and their journey from incarceration to freedom in Venezuela.

• Conversacion en Espanol: Paola Martinez Fiterre y Jan Rattia I  Thursday, Jul 28, 7PM
Acompaña a los artistas Paola Martinez Fiterre y Jan Rattia en una discusión al rededor de sus carreras artísticas y el uso de la cámara como una herramienta de exploración de la identidad, pertenencia y representación. 

• Book Launch: Johis Alarcón 'Cimarrona' I Friday, Jul 29, 6PM
Author, and photographer, Johis Alarcón will discuss her new photobook Cimarrona in which she explores the African spiritual tradition alive in Ecuador, by portraying the women who safeguard their ancestral practices.

• Screening - Sara Escobar 'Causar Alta'  I Saturday, Jul 30 6PM
Join the BDC for a screening of Sara Escobar’s award-winning documentary Causar Alta held in partnership with Foto Féminas. The film follows seven inhabitants of San Juan Guichicovi, Oaxaca as they explain their decision to enlist in the Mexican army, as it represents the only viable way to survive for a lot of people in one of the poorest areas of Mexico. 



Header image: A woman performs a religious celebration called Umbanda. It is a syncretic Afro Brazilian religion that blends African traditions with Catholicism, Spiritism, and Indigenous American beliefs. February 19th, 2017. Andaraí, Brazil. © Tamara Merino 

Interior Images:
(Top): © Alejandro Olivares

(L): © Frances Figueroa-Rivera / Nuevayorkinos

(R) Dancer, Francisco Melara, poses for a portrait after a performance in the town of Apastepeque, El Salvador January 10, 2014. © Jose Cabezas

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