Emerging Mexican Street Photographers III: Jair Cabrera Torres

This post is the third in a series exploring the work of five emerging Mexican street photographers. The series will include work from Nayeli Cruz BonillaFermín Guzmán MartínezJair Cabrera TorresIrving Cabrera Torres, and Alfredo MorenoMark Powell and Tom Griggs have curated and edited this project to give exposure to these young photographers. All five began their careers as students of Powell's in El Faro de Oriente in Iztapalapa, Mexico City.

The first post in the series featuring Cruz Bonilla can be found here and the second with Guzmán Martínez here.

This post features the work of Jair Cabrera Torres. His work can be further explored on Flickr under the name "rastamaniaco."

My name is Jair Cabrera, I'm 23 and a photographer, born on April 2, 1988 in Mexico City. I have a graduate degree in Communication Sciences. Ever since I was a child I belonged to and lived on the streets. Six years ago I found photography; now I try to use the camera to tell in great detail every story that happens around me.

I live on the border between Nezahualcoyotl and Iztapalapa. My work has focused on finding a material aesthetic for where I grew up, an area has been poorly represented when someone from outside has been given the job of photographing it. I would like to take apart the myth of what is my space, my people, and my family. It is easy from the outside to label and judge without knowing what goes on inside the place. In recent years I have worked with images that represent the everyday life of my neighborhood, a working-class area on the edge of the city. We have been labeled a social threat, I am from and represent a neighborhood in the east of my city, designated a red zone or high-risk area for the high rate of violence, crime, and vandalism.

I had been fortunate to be given scholarships on several occasions through the Centro de la Imagen de la Ciudad de México, and by the collective Toxico Cultura and have been invited to participate in various group exhibitions by city of Mexico City, and my work has been published in various print publications and via the Internet. Photography has taught me to appreciate what many people would be afraid of, which is to live in a marginal area; this has given me experiences, laughter, and good times, but most of all, friends throughout the city.