2013 - 2015
New York, United States
The Bloodline is a chapter designated by the gang of the Latin Kings to the State of New York. The Latin Kings is one of the largest and most organized gangs in America with more than 35,000 active members.
This Photo Essay focuses on documenting not only the extreme life conditions for the majority of gang members but also the relation between gang members and society. It explores the intimacy and naivety of teenagers who have been pushed by their economic status, racial or social issues to survive in a hostile environment in one of the most developed cities in the world. It also draws attention to the happiness, unity and respect they show each other and the importance of the family and religion in their lives.
As a Colombian, I am aware of the political and social situations of my country, and am familiar with the culture and their way of life. I am drawn to people who have to live in extreme conditions, and the risks they take to be capable of maintaining their economic status. The stressors behind why they create or get involved in gangs and what their purpose is. In my work I endeavor to show my point of view of social and cultural issues, often referencing South and Latin American urban conflicts such as drug dealing, narco-traffic, gangs and corruption.
I feel inspired by the efforts of these teenagers seeking for a community that understands them and supports them, and how they find the answer to this questions in Gangs, a community that forces them to juggle between being a teenager and surviving in the concrete jungle.