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Ada Trillo

Ada Trillo is a Philadelphia-based photographer. Born and raised in the U.S/ Mexican border region of Juarez and El Paso, her work focuses on sex trafficking, climate and violence-related international migration, and long-standing barriers of race and class. Her projects have been featured in international publications including The Guardian, Vogue, Smithsonian Magazine, and Mother Jones. Trillo’s work is held in the Library of Congress, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and other institutional and private collections. Her many awards include a First Place in the Tokyo International Foto Awards (2019), a British Journal of Photography Female In Focus Best Series Award, and The Me & Eve Grant from the Center of Photographic Arts in Santa Fe (2020).

Trillo’s images have been exhibited in the US, Japan, Luxembourg, Italy, England, France, and Germany. She holds degrees from the Istituto Marangoni in Milan, and Drexel University in Philadelphia. In 2021 she was accepted into Documentary Practice and Visual Journalism in the International Center of Photography in New York.

Of her Black Lives Matter Protest series, Trillo writes, “just as any other series, Black Lives Matter was created with the intention of enacting change. All my photographs show the face of humanity against injustice. The African American community has faced discrimination for many years. Just like many of you, I am still learning more about it. There is one thing I am certain of: we must unify in solidarity to make life easier for this community. As a Latina woman, iIam an advocate for Black and Brown unity during these trying times.

With that, I feel like it would be a disservice to speak on this alone.

Writing the stories for my images is not easy. I have dyslexia and I am not a master of the English language. My platform could not have reached this level without the help of an African American woman. This young lady is a good friend of mine whom I respect. She also helps me write captions for my images. Morgan, a creative and a writer, helps me formulate my words. I want to use this part of the page to highlight her thoughts.” - Ada Trillo

"Hello everyone, I’m Morgan Lloyd. 

I’m notorious for staying--comfortably--behind the scenes; gradually, I’m coming into a place where I can own my profession out loud.

The opportunity to speak here is exciting.  

I have worked in the Philly art scene for about two years. Prior to working with Ada, I worked within the gallery and editorial teams at InLiquid. The prominent art non-profit exclusively features local visual artists in their gallery. Her La Caravana series moved me to write a blog post on the InLiquid website. Shortly after posting, she reached out to me.

That’s how our journey began. 

Now, a year later, I am a professional freelance writer and creative. Also, Ada became one of my greatest friends. 

Our time together is an extraordinary one. We have found a rhythm unlike any other. Essentially, she translates the written and recorded stories of people in her photographs into English. It is my job to write them down eloquently. Since she walks alongside the caravans, we often spend hours sifting through (what feels like) hundreds of encounters. It’s amazing. 

At no point in my life could I imagine contributing to a cause as large as hers. Her work is an intersection between art and a humanitarian call for action. There are thousands of men, women, and children who are denied the opportunity to speak about their experiences. The people documented in her series often go unseen. Ada’s photography re-establishes the respect they deserve. 

She has taught me to see art as an act of rebellion; it combats the systems that silence the oppressed. I have come to realize that artists should always advocate for something greater than themselves. 

Ada’s tenacity, passion, and grit motivates me to succeed as a woman of color in the arts. It has been an honor to help her find a voice. 

Little did I expect, her lens turned to my community’s struggles. I’m blessed that she has. The Black Lives Matter movement has flipped the script on our typical meetings. Normally, Ada educates me on the Latinx view of American society. Now, I can educate her on the Black experience. 

I would love to—physically—join her as she walks in the protest. However, I, like many others during this pandemic, have an underlying condition that is at risk of being aggravated while standing with my peers. By working with Ada, I have been given an opportunity to fight for my people…from a safe distance.

I believe that it is important for all communities, not just minorities, to gather in solidarity. By working together, we can create change in innovative and invigorating ways. Our multiple voices create a variety of revolutionary outlets. 

I hope that as you look at this series, you are moved to create a positive change for the future."  - Morgan Lloyd

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