I want to thank two women who were instrumental in helping me with this show:
Blanca, Recorded the written stories that accompany my photographs. Her collaboration was invaluable to this project. We were only given 15 minutes to shoot each woman/girl. While I was in charge of the camera, Blanca was the one in charge of writing down the information the women shared with us about their lives.
Blanca is a human rights activist, for years she has been involved in the fight against human trafficking. For the past nine years, she hosted a radio program discussing this topic of human trafficking and its correlation to mobility and migration issues. She also discussed how common these problems are especially around the border, problems the authorities chose to neglect.
Luli, a former sex worker who was rehabilitated by the Oblate Sisters. She accompanied me to the brothels and introduced me to the sex workers who became the inspiration for my photographs. She made sure the drug dealers and pimps knew I was an artist and that I would not cause any trouble.
I am a Philadelphia-based artist who was born and raised in Juarez, Mexico, on the Mexican/American border near El Paso, Texas. As an artist who loves both countries, I hope you will find my photography series both touching and thought-provoking. The images are intended to be as stark and moving as the lives of the women portrayed.
I have long wanted to present a body of work which focuses on the global issues involving the sex trade industry. Three years ago, I was afforded the opportunity to take a series of photographs documenting the lives of women in this industry in my hometown. I wanted to bring awareness to the ravages inflicted on the women in the sex trade industry in that part of the world. I note, however, that these stories are not limited to Juarez; rather, they happen all over the world.
Over the past three years, I sometimes photographed the same women on more than one occasion. In those instances, it saddened me to see that the bodies of these women had deteriorated over time due to drug use - mostly heroin. I was very upset when Blanca recently informed me that two of the young women I photographed had been killed.
I was very humbled by this experience and decided to use my art to create an understanding of the realities of the women in the sex trade industry. In undertaking this project it is my hope that my work touches you. I am documenting a difficult and unpleasant realty that needs to be exposed. I hope that it will both make an impact and move you to want to make a difference.