Cinthya Santos-Briones: 2018 En Foco Fellowship Prize Exhibition
This June 2018, photographers Cinthya Santos-Briones and Daesha Devón Harris will each present solo exhibitions at Blue Sky, the Oregon Center for the Photographic Arts, as the first winners of the En Foco Photography Fellowship Exhibition Prize at Blue Sky. The Exhibition Prize is a collaboration between the two organizations to increase visibility for En Foco and its Photography Fellows program and expand the diversity of artists shown at Blue Sky.
Abuelas is a portrait series that honors the culture and experiences of Mexican immigrant women living in New York. Having come to the United States decades ago in search of opportunity for themselves and their families, these women are now the elders—the abuelas—in their communities. Although they are well established here, many have children and grandchildren living on both sides of the US-Mexico border and some must work unstable or exploitative low-wage jobs due to their immigration status. For these collaborative portraits, Cinthya Santos-Briones invites each sitter to choose where and how she would like to be photographed in her home in order to reflect each woman’s sense of self. The artist writes that "in these photographs, the homes´ decorations become part of the women's wider symbolic recreation of culture, memory, and ownership beyond borders.”
Before becoming a documentary photographer, Santos-Briones studied anthropology and history, which led her to work as a researcher in institutions in Mexico focused on the study of indigenous and rural communities. Her work as a photographer is centered on community, migration, gender, identity, and the struggle for human rights. Santos-Briones is a recent graduate of the Visual Journalism And Documentary Practice Program at the International Center Of Photography in New York City. In the autumn of 2016 she received a fellowship granted by the Magnum Foundation.