Ada Trillo

Open Wednesday April 14, 2021 6-8pm
Photography at the border
Migrant Caravan, black and white photography
Migrant Caravan, black and white photography
Migrant Caravan, black and white photography
Artist, photographer
+1 (215) 531-1543
my studio
200 N. 16th street Apartment 1311
Philadelphia, PA 19102
West: Center City West
What's happening here:
Discussing the impact of photography at the border

 I was born in El Paso, Texas but I was raised in Juarez, Mexico. As a teenager, I traveled back and forth between the two cities so I could attend school in the states, I was very lucky. Witnessing life on the border as a young adult influenced my approach to art forever. After years of working as a painter, I picked up a camera and started making pictures. I quickly realized this was the medium I needed to tell the stories of those coming to the U.S. from Mexico and Central America. Every person heading to the U.S has a name a face and a story.

For the past four years, I’ve been documenting the journey migrants take to reach the US-Mexico border. I photographed aboard the infamous La Bestia, a dangerous journey by a freight train that migrants from Mexico and Central America ride every year to reach the border. I also photographed overpopulated migrant shelters in the border towns of Juarez and Tijuana and the migrant caravans of 2018 and 2020, as well as asylum seekers, barred entry into the US under Trump's, Remain in Mexico Policy.

The trials, struggles, and humanity of these migrating to theU.S. are often lost in the blur of the media. For me, it’s critical to unveil their journey and what led them here in the first place. I feel it is just as important to document not only the border but the journey to the border as many never make it.

To do this, I journey with them. I usually use a 35mm lens to make the act of photographing a much more intimate one. I don’t just snap pictures to tell the story. I ask migrants where they come from, what they do for a living, and what their goals are. Instead of shooting from afar, I engage with migrants to better understand their lives. That way, I can share their stories with the world. Through photographs and their own words.


Open Wednesday April 14, 2021 6-8pm