Kathya Maria Landeros is a photographer and educator who lives and works from her hometown of Sacramento, California. Her photographic work is informed by her bi-cultural upbringing and often explores Mexican-American identity and the immigrant experience. For over a decade, she has worked on long-term personal projects documenting Latino communities throughout California’s northern Central Valley and other parts of the American West. The recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship, she has also photographed and lived in Mexico. She currently serves as a Fulbright Ambassador. Prior to earning a graduate degree in photography from Massachusetts College of Art and Design, she received an undergraduate degree in English literature and Hispanic studies from Vassar College. Today we share her series Verdant Land
Within my family narrative there are many tales of hardworking kinfolk who emigrated from Mexico to the United States in search of work (my great-grandfather worked in the mines in Arizona; my grandfather was a Bracero, part of a bilateral government sanctioned agricultural work program; and my grandmother and parents worked as farmhands). This has led to my interest in exploring U.S. to Mexico migration from the perspective of longstanding Mexican-American communities, specifically in the American West where my family settled.
These images were made in the Central Valley and are part of larger body of work titled Verdant Land. A chapter of my ongoing exploration on Latino culture, it references the history of agricultural work out West and the relationship Mexicans, and Mexican- Americans, have had within this past. Verdant Land reveals a landscape that is not wild; rather it shows the hand that people have played in cultivating this land and how, ultimately, it has inextricably connected them to it.
To see more of Kathya’s work, visit her website.