Welcome to Life Cycles' Guestbook

In an effort to encourage a global dialogue we would like to encourage you to share with us your comments regarding this site and/or your personal story. It is our belief that your participation will help shape "a new hope for future generations," by creating a discussion with people just like you from all around the world.

INSTRUCTIONS:
To particpate simply email documentary@artelunasol.com and Jacalyn will ensure that your comments are posted.


Life Cycles' guest wrote...

I was just at your site checking out your pictures. I like em! My favorite photo is the one in the Vasquez familia, the little girl hoola hoopin next to the pool with the clouds in the background. I love taking pictures and usually try to take them of my kiddos (naturally) I fiddle with my cameras. I have 2, a digital with only 1 memory card :( , and a 35mm minolta. I have to admitt I use the digital more because of the instant gratification of seeing the pictures right then and there and deleting it if its bad. LOL AND because on my camera I can change to black and white and then an antique color for them. yippey. It's very hard sometimes to think of photography as art, but I do find myself looking at like old old buildings, sometimes even abandon and think "that would make an awesome pictures. Something retarded like a old building LOL. Or I visited my best friend in Michigan and drove through Detroit to her mom's house, you should see all the old buildings there, OH and churches, I was like "OOOOOO that would be cool" and out came the camera. Of course they didn't turn out good because Im on the freeway and windows were up. LOL Anywho, just wanted to let you know I did go and took a look at your work. I saw also the black and whites, when I look at them its almost like a sweet still serenity. I think that blk and wht can add more meaning, depth, and feeling then color.

-Annonymous


Life Cycles' guest wrote...

My husband Gary picked strawberries for one day when he was 18. It was during the bracero days. His back was killing him after just a little while. He asked an old timer, "How long does it take to get used to this?" The old man looks at him, sighs, and says, "Hijo...uno nunca se acostumbra a esto..."

-Annonymous


Life Cycles' guest wrote...

Today, I saw your very impressive exhibition at CMP--84 fine photographs, beautifully arranged in groups of 12! I was impressed with the online exhibition, but the exhibition at the California Museum of Photography is OUTSTANDING. CONGRATULATIONS! My favorite photo is in black and white, the road with the sign on the right leading to MECCA, in the Gonzalez family group--I am of a Gonzalez lineage!. In my experience, those roads are repositories of memory. I truly enjoyed hearing the stories online. It was a pleasure to see your exhibition, and your focus on success stories is truly admirable.

Here is my story :
My mother was discouraged by my grandmother from going to school. A woman does not need an education, my grandmother believed. You will be having babies, as many as God will give you, she told my mother. There will be plenty to keep you busy, washing clothes --which she did, outdoors even during inclement weather, by hand on one of those old washboards-- ironing, cooking, and keeping house. Consequently, my mother never learned to read and write.

As a child, my mother remembered in her elderly years, my grandmother would tell the children to hide under the house when school officials came to see if there were any school age children. Her youngest brother, my uncle Fred, a WW II veteran, was the only one out of a family of eleven children who went to school. My mother remembered that the child Federico, her brother, had to cry and beg my grandmother to let him go to school. Eventually, his pleading gained her permission. He went to school until 7th grade. In the old days Mexican boys usually went to 7th grade. Then the hormones kicked in, they went to work, and the rest is history.

Being an intelligent woman, my mother felt when she died that the biggest regret in her life was never having learned to read and write. For the same reason she refused to let my father take us out of school to follow the crops, even when we were very poor and my father had difficulty finding work. For many years we were a family of eight, counting my mother and father, and it was difficult to make ends meet. But for my dear mother I would have been a migrant worker.

-All the best,
Eliud


Life Cycles' guest wrote...

My dear you did a fantastic job. Just an utterly fantastic job. So much work and such a talented artist. I just want to meet these people. You presented them in their full essences.

-Patricia


Life Cycles' guest wrote...

Congratulations on your work and the Life Cycles project. It isn't all the time anymore that I get to hear, let alone see, work representing Hispanic cultural ways. I won't use the word diversity because I think its a loaded term, deceptive and more of a political buzzword. About your feelings being American/Mexican in your earlier years, I will admit that I had such neuroses as a youngster. It hanged over me for many years, even after a tour in the US Army and graduation from UC Berkeley. In my late twenties (I'm 53 now) I began to understand how fortunate I was to come from this powerful Hispanic background (Costa Rican parents) and more about what it meant. I think this epiphany occurred as I travelled Central America and witnessed its different lifestyle. It wasn't Puritan now, it was Latino.

There remains much work to be done so that the Hispanic community can come more into its own. By that I mean equal and fair treatment. I do, however, continue to keep abreast of current affairs, try to educate myself as much as possible and let my neices/nephews know the vital importance of education. If our needs fall short w/ many of the leadership, then our methods must be to use education as the primary tool for truly advancing our community.

Yes, I too am a photographer of sorts mostly as a documenter of the life around me. If I had to give you a few artists whom I admire I'd have to say Lee Freidlander, Mary Ellen Mark, Ansel Adams, Joel Meyerowitz, and the legendary August Sander. I've been shooting with Leicas since 1992. With the advent of the internet I've been able to acquire a second Leica (M6) and a Hasselblad 503CX.

I love what I have seen of your images, they seem to resonate with me. They take me back to my younger more optimistic days. Today I know we have a more serious challenge at hand and that is why I like your project. The politics of hate consistently attack the Hispanic community, similar to the Nazi attacks on the Jews in the 1920-1945. Its easier to blame the Hispanics for some, than it is to fix US economic problems. For all the rhetoric of "diversity," the Hispanic community falls dramtically short on being represented in the US Congress, the Judicial branch, and needless to say the Executive branch of government. In corporate America, we have virtually NO represention. Any wonder why so many of us get the meager jobs?

Again, I applaud your project. Keep up the good work. Hopefully I'll get the opportunity to listen to one of your lectures one of these days.

-Annonymous


Life Cycles' guest wrote...

I remember back to almost a decade ago when I met Jacalyn, and I think about how in awe I have always been of her amazingly ability to give voice to the many who sometimes are unable to be vocal. I'm glad that I had the opportunity to be a part of this project Jacalyn, but more so to be a part of your life.

-Best, Fiffe


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