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Men in La Familia

Part 2: Family Ritual -- Men (Rafael)

Photography and Text by Javier "Heavy" Francisco
Edited by Therese Cervas

San Diego, California


Javier “Heavy” FranciscoThese images are taken from a work in progress, a photo/ slide projection/ video installation that conceptualizes and presents the family photographs I have taken over the last 7 years. A "family ritual" are two words that visualize these images significance. Being the oldest out of six, children, I was responsible to care for my younger siblings from an early age and stand as an interpreter between my parents and the white world they needed to communicate with. This ritual my family and I have engaged in from an early age, has evolved to a different meaning. This is where I derive the significance of these photographs of my family and why I photograph them continuously. It is the responsibility I carry to look after and care for my family influences my desire to document and capture with my camera the change that may last for a moment or becomes a permanent element. This body of work has influenced my other photographic work and how I frame my subjects. -- Javier "Heavy" Francisco

Rafael is the second eldest brother, after me. He has evolved from many different styles of dress. He's changed from dressing as an eight year old, to sporting the athletic look, to wearing name brand clothes with a scent of Nautica cologne, to the "gangsta" look he expresses now. The photographs capture the transformation of his identity. His expression, however, hasn't changed: he stands with a serious facial cast that never smiles. -- Javier "Heavy" Francisco

Rafael, 8 years old. 1994.
Click on photo to see larger version.

Click on photo to see larger version.

Click on photo to see larger version.

Click on photo to see larger version.

Click on photo to see larger version.

Published in In Motion Magazine October 2, 1999.