Environmental Racism, Stories of My Community / Cristina Tamarez and Jordie Vasq
(USA) Photo and interview series
With the power of storytelling and photo documentation, I wanted to highlight what new parents have been through due to toxic hazards, systemic health racism, climate displacement, food insecurity, and economic impacts. The goal of sharing these intimate stories was to encourage institutions to take accountability for how they are complicit in environmental racism. I wanted to hear about their experiences giving birth and navigating a medical system that wasn't designed to center their health and wellbeing. To those who have chosen not to have children at this time, I wanted to explore their reasoning. To be able to hear their stories and experiences, and to be able to share them with you, is a great honor and privilege. The experience was more of a conversation piece than a formal question and answer session, and I let the individuals direct the discussion. Interviewing each individual person provided them with a platform to express their thoughts and stories, as well as an outlet for sharing their experiences.
Action: Become an advocate and sign up for a WEACT environmental health and justice training: www.weact.org
Bio: Cristina Tamarez is a visual storyteller, a documentary photographer, and occasionally, an oil painter. She was born and raised in Ridgewood-Bushwick. She primarily photographs portraits of people and to the best of her ability, represents individuals and their many forms.Telling stories of her community and her identity. Her photography projects all start from a personal experience and branches out into its own form as she includes her community’s voice.
Jordana Vasquez is a sustainability consultant with experience in energy efficiency and sustainability design for the built environment in NYC. She currently works as a Senior Associate at the Building Energy Exchange, where she works with the project's team to produce educational resources, exhibits, targeted research, and critical tools to advance buildings' energy efficiency, directly supporting the City and the State's ambitious climate action plans. She also co-founded Women of Color/Collective in Sustainability, a dedicated community created to support WOC achieve professional success and support their well-being.