Genesis Baez received her BFA in Photography with honors from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in 2012. She is currently a youth mentor for the teen new media program Fast Forward at the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston. Based in Boston, Massachusetts, Genesis travels between New England and Puerto Rico for her ongoing research and photographic project Otra Vida, Otra Vez, work which investigates the longterm implications of neocolonialism and migration.
Why do you photograph on film?
Our world runs at a very fast pace, and photographing with film forces me to slow down, think about, and look at (not just see), what is in front of me. Everything is hence more deliberate and thought out. It is a meditative process. Working mostly on a tripod with medium and large format cameras allows me to engage differently with the people and spaces that I am photographing; the process becomes more of a collaboration and exchange. This exchange is very important to me.
What is your work about?
The photographs in Otra Vida, Otra Vez were made in Puerto Rico, an island that millions of people, including myself, have been forced to leave as a result of widespread economic instability and violence. Despite displacement, I return and photograph obsessively, creating traces that refuse the erasures of history. These images, intimate depictions of myself and people and spaces that I have been forced to leave behind, weave narratives that address displacement, loss, and endurance.