En Foco’s fellowship recipients continue the work of the twelve Puerto Rican photographers of the 1973 Dos Mundos exhibition by offering fresh visions of existing discriminatory mainstream cultural perspectives and policies. Evolving to contemporary circumstances and inequities exacerbated by the pandemic, they maintain their commitments to their communities and individual photographic processes. Many of them are also leaders, nurturing other artists of color across the diaspora, in the South, the Bronx, classrooms, and beyond. Dos Mundos: (Re)Constructing Narratives features artists that center stories at the fringe of public attention: hidden sanctuaries, subcultures, painful identities, far-away homes, spirituality, transcendence, broken promises, and all too easily ignored social ecologies.

Cinthya Santos Briones’ work literally transports us to those “Living in Sanctuary” in churches in New York and New Mexico, sheltering them from the continued threat of deportation and separation from their families. Welcoming us to the Bronx’s underground Hip-Hop scene, Danny Peralta introduces us to his collaborators at Guerrilla Grooves Radio station in “The Best Damn Rap.” Damarys Alvarez offers us a rare glimpse of subversive youth Punks in communist Cuba. Combining his search for Black art with formal considerations of light, line, shape, and form, Aaron Turner uses diverse strategies in his film photography series “Black Alchemy” including installation, digital manipulation, and drawing. Antonio Pulgarin presents us with visually layered family photographs that navigate the boundary between masculine constructions and queer realities. Known for his portraits from Harlem through Latin America, Tau Battice displays the pride and integrity of community members in his series from his home Liamuiga, the indigenous name of St. Kitts. Documentary photographer Laylah Amatullah Barrayn focuses our sight on Black and Muslim women confidently unveiling their spirit in her frequent travels across the world from Senegal to Brooklyn. In the intimate series, “Umbral” Erika Morillo exposes her sole son’s negotiation of fantasy and reality between this world and another. Daesha Harris submerges our view below water following Black feet in their journey to freedom. In the face of growing social divides, Roger Richardson delicately holds together tender moments within this community in his series “Let Me So Love.” With clarity, Yu-Chen Chiu exposes a broken political system and American dream under the Trump administration. Through iconically empty space around Coney Island Housing Projects Anthony Hamboussi links together stories of urban relationships to the local environment and disparate understandings of safety in a complicated web of social ecology.

Together these artists are working to decolonize the photographic image, exposing structures of oppression, queerying their subjects’ identities and refusals within them, and celebrating their kin’s freedom and love.

Historical Content

En Foco is supported in part with public funds from the New York City, Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council, New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and The Andrew Freedman Home. Generous support for the exhibition Dos Mundos: (Re)Constructing Narratives is provided by: National Endowment for the Arts, BronxCare Health System, The Joy of Giving Something, Inc., Floyd Lattin & Ward Mintz Fund, Aguado-Pavlick Arts Fund, Sonia L. Lopez, and Margaret Stokes. Additional support provided by Susana Torruella-Leval and Sara Pasti.