November 12 – January 10, 2010
As an international solidarity activist and worker against domestic violence in her own community, Steph Plourde-Simard became aware of how the act of survival is powerful and revolutionary.She wondered if that could be seen and understood in everyday situations. Then she came to know Ana, Julio, and their five young children in the hills outside of La Antigua, Guatemala, an area known for extreme poverty, violence, and gang rule.
This Family of La Antigua, an exhibit of her photographs, is featured at The Griffin Museum at the Aberjona River Gallery, 184 Swanton St., Winchester, MA, November 12 through January 10, 2010. An opening reception is December 1, 6 – 7:30 p.m.
“As much of the Guatemalan population lives in varying degree of poverty, the daily lives and everyday stories of those surviving near impossible situations are invisible,’’ says Plourd-Simard.
While photographing Ana, Julio, and their children, and documenting their home and family, Plourd-Simard says she was “humbled by their hospitality and warmed by their incredible spirit.
“I was privileged to spend time with a loving family that is waiting for its world to change, for the political climate to tilt in its favor, and for their children to continue growing up into different circumstances,’’ she says. “When children find ways to play though the boredom, and adults continue to love and create new lives among the stress of daily life, systems of oppression are challenged and betrayed.’
“Steph Plourde-Simard is an emerging documentary photographer who will make her mark on the world someday soon,” says Paula Tognarelli executive director of the Griffin Museum of Photography. “It is only fitting that we would exhibit ‘This Family of La Antigua’ while also exhibiting the work of Susan Bank, Stella Johnson, Rania Matar, Robert Welsh and Monika Merva.”
Plourde-Simard is a Boston-based documentary and fine art photographer and a recent graduate of New England School of Photography, where she received triple honors. She has a bachelor’s degree in sociology and women’s studies, and a master’s degree in gender/cultural studies, both from Simmons College.