Alejandra Carles-Tolra

Artist, Educator, Facilitator
     
A Place Like Home
Location: London, UK
Nationality: Spanish
Biography: Alejandra Carles-Tolra is a visual artist, educator and participatory photography facilitator from Barcelona based in London. Questions regarding what defines our identities and the role the group plays in our search for belonging drives her... MORE
Public Story
A Place Like Home
Copyright Alejandra Carles-Tolra 2023
Updated Dec 2012
Topics Boston, Community, Family, Fine Art, Friends + Family, Home, Identity, Latin American, Massachusetts, Photography, Portraiture, Puerto Rican, Religion, Still life, USA

2011-2012

After the crack epidemic of the 80s, the Mission Hill neighborhood of Boston became one of the most dangerous in the city. However, in the last couple of decades, its residents, mostly of Hispanic and African-American heritage, have witnessed the neighborhood's rapid recovery. When I first moved to Mission Hill from my native Barcelona, I got to know several Puerto Rican families who lived nearby. As I began to build a relationship with them, I was welcomed into their homes and families. I became very interested in both the interiors of their apartments and in taking their portraits.

The spaces fascinated me because of their careful decoration. The families present their homes as glorious domestic spaces, even as the walls and woodwork show signs of long use. The use of golden furniture, and shiny ornaments, as well as religious iconography describes an intense relationship to religious belief. While I learned about their stories and generational relationships, I began to attempt to photograph their characters and vibrant gestures. Throughout my visits I aimed to depict the spaces and people that kept me mesmerized for so many months and made me feel at home away from home.

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A Place Like Home by Alejandra Carles-Tolra
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