A year ago today, I followed my dreams and manifested them into a reality. I broke stereotypes and ignored the statistics about kids who grow up around normalized violence and sexual abuse & trauma, kids with mental illness, kids who grow up in single parent homes and kids who have found themselves in trouble with the law. I grew up in Eastside Long Beach and then moved to Bellflower with my mom to get away from my abusive father who ended up going on ‘vacation’ for 6 years. I come from a place many don’t get to leave. During my first 3 years of high school, I had a 0.6 GPA, was arrested over 15 times, went to juvenile hall and was 5150′d. All of my friends were dead, locked up, on drugs or ended their lives. My best friend was killed by police 9 years ago today. I lost an uncle in 2011, grandma in 2015, and my grandfather & uncle were murdered 3 weeks apart in 2016.
I do it for my community, I do it for my women. I do it for the children and the folks locked up in prison. To my immigrants. To my refugees. To my mentally ill. To my parents and my siblings. To my LGBT community. To the parents who lost their kids to violence. This is for you.
I am currently an MSW candidate, pre-law and will soon be your criminal defense lawyer.
First generation Moroccan and college graduate.
Sky’s the limit. CSULB 2016 and soon to be CSULB 2018.
I’ve featured old people in several of my works, though that term is relative. Some of these geezers are younger than I am.
Long Beach, when I was photographing it in the 1980s, was full of old people, scooting around on their electric carts and slowly dying off. They show up in Interrupted Knitting, shot somewhere on in eastside Long Beach, probably on 9th or 11th st. Evelyn’s New Panama is a downtown scene, on Pine near Ocean, where an elderly lady in her heavy winter coat walks past a decaying nightclub. Persistence shows the Farmer’s and Merchant’s bank at 3rd and Pine, where a white-haired lady clutches her sack lunch warily. Even the cars are old in this one, at least 15 years out of date. And Waiting for the Parade shows a white-haired gent doing just that along Ocean Ave. The Long Beach geezers have gone to their reward now, replaced by hipsters and millenials who are themselves rapidly transiting middle age.
Can’t wait to move back to the city soon. This suburban life ain’t for me. I miss the graff covered alleys that smell like piss, the crazy n cool people I would meet and see, the diversity, the culture, the sounds, the night life. Everything.
Just thinking about it makes me kinda sad but happy at the same time.