Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Aunty Mili

Rest in peace to my great Aunty Mili, got a chance to be with her earlier this year in New Zealand. I was walking down the street listening to "Prince" on pandora wondering why its so crazy for my parents to be the only siblings in their family to stay in America, especially since theyre from Western Samoa and how the lives of my brothers and sisters would of been much different if we had the support of family. Usually Samoans in America have big family support...Aunty Mili would of "beast'd up" on my brothers and sisters if we grew up with her.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Sandy Cuadra

Doesn't take a non-profit or foundation funding to bring people together and help communities get through. Just takes some good folks like Sandy Cuadra to be about what they believe and show that love to the hoods you grew up in. We our, our own saviors. The Mission lost a great one.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Another Day at DeBug

 Grateful for the folks I get to meet everyday who inspire this work, that is more than photo or video. All things are interrelated, a woman doing life in prison over her 3rd strike of stealing $120 worth of clothes and a mother who looks like a regular white middle class woman to me, dealing with the complexities of the prison industrial complex and what that means for families and children who are raised in America.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Steeda McGruder: "Sisters That Been There"

Steeda walked into DeBug 2 years ago fresh out of county jail asking about what we do and what not, which is a rhetorical question if anything. But I set up her first email account had her sit down and write her story that day. Good thing about looking back is to track yourself on why we move forward. Grateful to know this woman. Working on a re-entry photo slide of her raising her daughters now. An excerpt from that writing and some photos from a Mcgruder weekend.

"have a deep love for women caught in the cycle of incarceration I have watched them for the last nineteen months, they taught me how to do time for that length of time. They showed me something has to be done to break this cycle. They showed me they trust me to be the one to represent them and advocate for them. I connected my dream with theyre wants and needs catering to the emotional needs of women who are and have been incarcerated a sisterhood that will serve the womens needs and the communitys needs. so you ready for us? we call ourselves (S.T.B.T.) Sisters That Been There we came up with the name while waiting in the holding cell at drug court pretty cool huh?"- Steeda McGruder 5/11/11 first day on the outs

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Oakland Is Burning

Before everyone watched "Paris Is Burning" and started popularizing Ball terms like "realness" and what not....there were OG's like "Lovely" who was vogueing and hitting every category on that "realness" tip. Had a chance to document one of the last Balls at SMACC in Oakland since their building burnt down. Was given a opportunity to redesign their new building and going to hold a opening art exhibiton fundraiser for September's first friday. A couple of photos to be featured from all the great folks who held it down on that SMACC floor. Best thing I heard "Ball Culture" is not for exhibition so these photos are the contradiction minus permission from the OGs. Big ups SMACC and all the Oaktown folks that make this city what it is.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Ramon Vasquez

Check out, really dope project my work homies are doing for the community legal justice aspect, shows that families/community support can really dictate the control of the courts. Remember when Ramon's family came into DeBug saying the police just basically kidnapped him and took their son/husband/father for 9 months for a crime he didn't commit. Got to shoot him from looking outside the cell window he used to peer out of and ask his wife to drive at certain times just to see them from it. Always good to be around humble folks like him.

"Mi Viejito"

Collaborating with beautiful words by my homie Yosimar Reyes. Honor your elders. Mi Viejito from g$ on Vimeo.