Personnae II was a multimedia visual art and community engagement project led by New York based Photographer Carlos David. David's process invited participants to transform into their alter ego or a character of their choice, enabling freedom of expression and experimentation.
In 2019 I was invited to explore documenting the whole process that takes a person transform into their chosen alter ego. I feel grateful to have been invited to document the participant's personal lives and later on, the backstage of each shooting.
Can Dancing Be Healing?
New York Artist and Activist Jessica Unterreiner performed for two days in front of the Federal Hall; a historic building located in the Financial District of Manhattan. I was invited by her to collaborate and document the performance as well as people’s reaction to the act.
As an act of rebellion to the capitalist patriarchal system, Jess decided to dance, sing and cry at the same time that Former First Lady, Melania Trump was visiting 23 Wall Street (also known as the J.P. Morgan Building).
While some people were surprised, even disgusted by her performance, others supported her work and wanted to know why she was performing.
Sara had always been good at walking the line. She followed the rules and was religious enough so that people wouldn’t talk so that she could remain within the Hasidic community that she grew up.
At age 18 she decided to cut her hair short for the first time. She realized that there were rules that prohibited women from having it too long but the issue of having it too short, had never been argued. Even though she had already started wearing pants and had a hidden tattoo on the back of her left arm, cutting her hair would change everything.
By documenting the life of a 20-year-old Hasidic queer woman from Borough Park, Brooklyn, this project contemplates the life and identity of an openly gay woman who still lives and works in a traditional community where the word 'gay' does not exist.