Jonathan Espinosa

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    I am an Afro-Dominican writer, photographer, and community organizer born and raised in the Bronx, New York. My parents always had an obsession with photographing  our... read on
  
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Biography

    I am an Afro-Dominican writer, photographer, and community organizer born and raised in the Bronx, New York. My parents always had an obsession with photographing  our lives ever since I was a baby. As a child, I always looked forward to picking up the film at the local pharmacy once it was developed and seeing photos of us as a family. My infatuation with images continues to this day, except that the lens is now pointed outwards. I eventually graduated from college in 2013 as a proud first-generation graduate. I gained a lot of experience in college as an educator, photographer, and student organizer, skills which I brought with me when returning to the Bronx. I am currently organizing poor and working-class communities in New York City towards fundamental social change. I simultaneously use the camera to visually document marginalized communities with a socially conscious lens.

Like most Bronx residents, I grew up around social issues of poverty and racial discrimination which I weave these into my photography. As a documentary photographer, I believe it is our duty to capture reality in a way that motivates people to end injustice through social change. We must have a socially conscious lens that looks for untold stories, unseen faces, and underserved communities. I aim to challenge this underrepresentation by visually giving a voice to the voiceless.

There is an African proverb that says, "Until the story of the hunt is told by the lion, the tale of the hunt will always glorify the hunter." In other words, those who win power gain control of the defeated and the story that portrays the defeat. I aim to expose the lies, broken promises, and injustices that affect the historically “defeated.” And instead of parachuting myself into these communities, I produce visual reflections of my experience as a “hunted” subject within the belly of the beast. I capture these narratives in a way that documents my subjects as reflections of myself, all which are struggling against injustice. These are the realities that drive me to continue this necessary photographic work.