Editor’s note: This is part of a series of collaborations with Las Fotos Project, an Eastside-based organization that inspires teenage girls through photography, mentorship, and self-expression.
‘Con Safos’ is a visual documentation project in which members of Las Fotos Project’s Digital Promotoras program use photojournalism and multimedia techniques to promote awareness of disparities and stigmas facing their communities. These stories address key issues such as gentrification, access to green spaces, security, physical wellbeing, and punitive school measures.
See other stories and read about the Con Safos project here.
My project focuses on color within Los Angeles, especially within my communities of Westlake/MacArthur Park and East Los Angeles.
In my project my objective is to emphasize the importance of bright, vivid colors within communities and environments where low-income families reside. Color has a great impact on people’s sense of safety and comfort, especially in places where they spend a lot of time, like school.
In Mexican culture. much like where she and I come from, outstanding colors are often used in common objects to represent our culture.
Ms. López’s classroom is vivid and lively. No walls are left blank in this classroom — it’s full of life!
“I like students to feel like someone cares, that someone took the time to organize the classroom and strategically place things in the classroom”Maritza López
Ms. Lopez incorporates color into her classroom because it makes her feel safe. When she was a student growing up in the LAUSD system, her classrooms were dull and lifeless. She always color-coded her notes to be organized and now implements similar strategies into her classroom to help students feel comfortable.
Everything in Ms. Lopez’s classroom is significant, as someone special has gifted it to her. Her classroom is a space that makes her and her students feel comfortable and welcomed. The bright colors help students remain engaged and also remind me of my own culture, making me and others feel safe and at home.
“A classroom full of color is more lively and more active, as opposed to a black and white classroom.”
Ms. López has implemented color into her classroom to try and create a positive outcome and to urge students to participate and remain engaged during class. She has influenced many students with the support she gives and she makes her classroom feel like a second home.
East Los Angeles
I have always felt safe seeing these colorful murals in Boyle Heights and East L.A. Seeing my culture represented by these vibrant colors make me and others feel like we belong, like we are present in this community even though this is not where I currently live.