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XIOMARA CASTRO

Graphic & Digital Design

PHOTOGRAPHY


Photography and digital imagery is my happy place. This page features some of my latest personal projects mixing all mediums within photography, analog and digital. Design process is integral to my photographic images. This intentional process is about storytelling, composition and pushing the boundaries of photographic image. I'm deeply inspired by literature, current events, landscape and memory. I often partner with writers to illustrate their stories.



Axiom Ethiopia

These composites are made up of many images taken in and around Ethiopia in the capital of Addis Ababa, and areas of Gondar, Lalibela, Shashamane and Lake Langano. For me, Ethiopia is a place of simultaneous realities. Ethiopian history, culture and identity is a vast tapestry with many traditions, languages and communities making up each thread. The axiom of Ethiopia is this tapestry and perhaps this moment in history. In the throws of transformation, what will take hold there? What traditions will survive and be honored, what will come to the surface? This work was originally shown at “Axiom Ethiopia” a fine art show at Neon Raspberry Art House in Occidental, CA, March – July 2016.

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"Angel Eyes"
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"For the Queen Menteweb"
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"The Castle of Fasilades"
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"The Window"
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"Say Their Names"
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"New Flower"



Slide

This series is inspired by the short story collection, “Slide Stories” by Monica Zarazua. In June of 2014, Joyce Gordon Gallery in Oakland, CA hosted seven artists to create visual representations of the stories in this collection. Monica Zarazua’s writing is hard to pinpoint, she combines elements of magic realism, science fiction, and memoir. Although they defy labels, the stories are rich with visuals, so this was a powerful project for me to work on. One of my favorites is, “The Turn”, about a mountain that turns upside down and the people who live there. In “Eggplant and Ruby” a sex-worker experiences an out of body episode and travel to an alternate reality. These images are photographic composites of film and digital images.

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"The Turn"
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"The Turn"
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"The Turn"
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"Eggplant & Ruby"
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"Eggplant & Ruby II"



After the Conquest

“Después de la Conquista / After the Conquest ” is an exploration of mestizo (mixed race Indigenous and Spanish) identity in Central America. They are self portraits superimposed over religious symbols, Indigenous and Catholic. The series confronts the mainstream belief in El Salvador that Indigenous culture ended during colonization. These photographs are an inquiry into how Indigenous culture continues, transforms and is at the root of Central American identity.

In 1999, “After the Conquest / Después de la Conquista” won first prize in the Juan Rulfo international contest for photography in Paris, France.
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