Hugo Ludeña | Statement

I arrived in the Pacific Northwest in 1993, and felt immediately welcomed by this community. I also discovered that Latinos living in the Northwest were very isolated from the rest of the society. I began capturing the Latino life as it happened; through festivals, concerts, community events, traditional weddings and every day life.

Thousands of photographs later, the collection has begun to take form. In 2004, I began the process of selecting 80 images as part of a documentary work title "Latino Life in the Northwest: A Cultural Journey".

I believe that the contributions of Latinos to the development and success of the Pacific Northwest are woven into almost every segment of the state's history. To envision Washington untouched by Latinos is to imagine a state without much of its folklore and many of its achievements.

As an artist, my goal consists of breaking up Latino stereotypes in media and visual arts. For decades, newspapers, movies, and even literature showed Latinos as a marginal segment in the society. Latinos were portrayed as not assimilating; angry with all and for all reasons. The depictions of Latino life resembled barrio gangs.
My work shows authentic Latino families in their mood of celebrating, dressed in their best garments or in their job environment. We came to this country with our own values, our history and traditions.

Hugo Ludeña