Scott Bennett

Photographer
    
LOLOS Y PALETEROS
Location: San Diego, CA
Nationality: United States
Biography: Scott Bennett is a photographer and university professor living in San Diego, California. He is currently working on a long-term documentary project focusing on key themes in Latin America, including urbanization, immigration, and coffee culture.... read on
Lolos y Paleteros

Chicano Park is a unique and special place, not only to local residents but especially to those who have been a part of its history and who have witnessed change over the years in the neighborhood of Barrio Logan in San Diego, California. Lolos (lowriders) and paleteros (ice cream pushcart street vendors) is a title that comes from the culture and essence of Chicano Park, and my photographs focus specifically on the Chicano Park day celebration that takes place on Saturday in late April each year. Over almost the past ten years, I have photographed the cultural events, people, and happenings during the yearly celebration. I have seen Aztec dancers, listened to music, admired art, and more than anything, spent time getting to know people who consider the park their sacred space, or spiritual "home."

These photographs speak to cultural identity and what it means to be Mexican American in today's complex and ever-changing world. Lowriders and car clubs are a key element of chicano identity and expression. Likewise, paleteros have a deep connection with Mexican American culture and reality and have been a mainstay in the community, while bringing back memories of childhood and nostalgia and the ringing of the ice cream bell. The photos highlight a people group that is resilient, proud, and also rooted in a neighborhood and space that not only reflects the past and history, but a space that represents change and forward motion toward the future while facing head on the almost imminent and unfortunate gentrification of the barrio. Much like Mexican Americans sometimes have a sense of struggle and ambiguity concerning cultural identity (as witnessed in Gina Valdes' poem Where you from?), my photos show only glimpses into moments of this reality, and do not try to answer any big questions about life and culture. This ambiguous reality comes out in my artistic take of the subject matter: I tend to shoot reflections, include out of focus elements, and also people wearing masks. To me, this makes the viewer want to know more about the identity of who is in the photos and what makes their story unique. So join me as we take a ride in a lowrider, get a cool limón fruit popsicle from the ice cream man, and enjoy the cultural richness of Lolos y Paleteros and the beautiful space that is Chicano Park. ¡Órale!
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By Scott Bennett —

VISUAL STORY

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VISUAL STORY

COFFEE WITH MAMÁ GÜICHA

By Scott Bennett / Guatemala City — Coffee with Mamá Güicha On a trip to Guatemala in 2017 to photograph coffee farms, I stopped by..
VISUAL STORY

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VISUAL STORY

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VISUAL STORY

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By Scott Bennett / Rio de Janeiro, Brazil — Fighting for the Hill Fighting for the Hill (Lutando pelo morro) is a photo essay about the Morro da..
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SPAIN

By Scott Bennett / Madrid, Spain — As I explored both Madrid and Sevilla, I had the chance to photograph the urban environments and visual..
VISUAL STORY

SALVATION MOUNTAIN

By Scott Bennett / Salvation Mountain — Salvation Mountain can be considered a cultural icon. A Mecca for pop culture fans and hipsters alike,..
VISUAL STORY

ENVISAGING MOZAMBIQUE

By Scott Bennett / Maputo, Mozambique — Envisaging Mozambique is a photo essay that celebrates the spirit, children, and culture of Mozambique...
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