Josefina Santos

Josefina Santos born and raised in Bogota, Colombia, Josefina graduated with a BFA from Parsons the New School for Design in 2012 in Communication Design and has since been based in Brooklyn, New York. As Graphic Designer and Art Director by profession, her education in photography has been mainly self-taught, resulting in graphically focused composition.

Over the past two years, after taking a leap of faith and deciding to pursue photography full-time Josefina has been working on a diverse range of projects including magazine editorials, fashion campaigns, portraiture for NY based musicians, and personal fine art projects.

Her work has been published in VICE, Ain’t Bad Magazine, LOVE Magazine, Design Boom, Life Framer, Art Directors Club, Type Directors Club and HOW Magazine, among others.

Misfortune Never Comes Alone

At a certain moment in time, poverty and scarcity caught up with the dominant feudal families in Sincelejo. A small agrarian town with blazing hot temperatures on the Northern Coast of Colombia. My grandmothers worst fears became a reality: the abundance the family once possessed started to slowly, but surely waste off. Luster dulled. Poorness hovered.
My mother bore witness to the changes around them. As my grandmother grew weak of spirit and her presence disappeared, my mother became aware of the inherent strength and resilience of those she least expected. The people who worked in the house, especially her ayah, became her source of strength and comfort as her mother abandoned her.

My mother’s experience with her side of the family echoed deeply in me when I read her childhood memoirs. I was raised in Bogotá, Colombia, strongly knitted to my father’s dominant brood, and hers was a distant entity, physically and culturally, with which my brother and I had little in common. In almost every sense the two places are worlds apart. Nonetheless, in the strong humanity of my mother’s accounts, I recognized myself as if no disparities ever existed between us. Immediately drawn by this realization I traveled to Sincelejo, in pursuit of this strong yet little-known connection.

As a response to this curiosity, I began an immersive photographic exploration of the people, places, landscapes, and traditions that make up this town and its surroundings. Using my grandmother and the rest of my extended family as a starting point and through virtually untouched scenery’s soaked with timeless traditions, I’ve slowly begun to uncover a broader portrait of life in the Northern Coast of Colombia, and with it a part of my own identity.

To view more of Josefina’s work please visit their website.

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