Project Description

HistoryMiami Museum proudly presents work from the 2024 Youth Photography Fellowship Program, guided by local photographer Carlos Muñoz. This exhibition features projects from local high school students who have documented topics of personal interest, translating their classroom lessons into real-world photographic practice.

Throughout the fellowship, students were encouraged to delve into their surroundings and daily lives, using photography to explore and narrate their unique perspectives. This year’s project showcases a diverse range of subjects, from cultural heritage and community dynamics, to personal narratives and environmental changes.

The program not only aimed to teach the technical aspects of photography but also to inspire students to connect deeply with the medium as a powerful tool for storytelling and personal expression. By capturing the world around them, the students have created compelling visual stories that reflect their insights, experiences, and creativity.

Carlos Muñoz

Carlos “Cali” Muñoz is a passionate documentary photographer, born in Caracas, Venezuela, to Colombian parents. Cali discovered his true calling in photography while advocating for social causes in Venezuela. In 2015, due to political turmoil, he emigrated to Miami, where he began a new chapter in his life dedicated to visual storytelling and amplifying the voices of marginalized communities.

Muñoz has spent the past year capturing the stories and experiences of the migrant community in Homestead, South Florida. His current work focuses on the vibrant Redland Market Village in Homestead, FL, where he documents the lives of immigrants, primarily from Mexico and Central America, who have gathered around this market.

Through his lens, Carlos highlights the cultural traditions, struggles, and aspirations of these communities, showcasing the resilience and diversity that make up the social fabric of the area. With this project, Cali was awarded the 2023 Fellowship for Photographers offered by HistoryMiami Museum.

Cali uses his camera as a powerful tool for connection and human understanding. His approach goes beyond the technical aspects, always seeking to capture the essence of people and the stories that are not always told. Through his work, Muñoz aspires to weave a visual tapestry that transcends geographical and cultural boundaries, giving visibility to meaningful and enriching stories.

Aaliyah Anderson

Hialeah Exodus – Project 725

Aaliyah Anderson’s project reflects a deep connection to her hometown of Hialeah and a profound understanding of its cultural significance within Miami’s diverse landscape. By focusing on the preservation of East Hialeah’s cultural heritage amidst its transformation into the Leah Arts District, Aaliyah highlights the broader theme of change that pervades Miami’s history.

Hialeah’s identity as a city with a large Hispanic and Latino population, particularly of Cuban descent, adds layers of complexity to the narrative of cultural preservation. As East Hialeah undergoes gentrification and transitions into an upscale, arts-oriented neighborhood, there is a risk of losing the area’s Cuban working-class heritage. Aaliyah’s project serves as a poignant reminder of the significance of preserving this heritage and the role of community involvement in shaping the evolving landscape of Miami.

Through her photos, Aaliyah captures the resilience and identity of East Hialeah, by highlighting the stories of long-term residents like her grandparents, she not only documents the past but also celebrates the ongoing cultural vibrancy of the community.

Ana Pujol

Art School

Through the lens of my camera, I embarked on a captivating journey to capture the essence of life within the walls of an art school, focusing particularly on the intricate world of dance. As a documentary photographer, I delved into the vibrant tapestry of creativity that define the daily experiences of dancers in this setting by focusing on the little things in an art school that make every moment essential. With each click of the shutter, I aimed to encapsulate the raw beauty of the typical day experienced at an institution of arts, with small sights as typically seen through the eyes of a student. From the early morning leotard selection to the pile of  ballet shoes and personal items held in a studio, I witnessed the unwavering commitment and tireless dedication that fuels their pursuit of perfection.

Beyond the technical prowess and graceful movements lies a deeper narrative—the life and soul of an art school. My photography project serves as a testament to the power of art in shaping lives and communities. It is a celebration of the human spirit, resilience, and boundless potential that thrive within the walls of an art school. Through my images, I hope to inspire others to appreciate the beauty of dance, the transformative power of art education, and the profound impact of creativity on our lives.

Chelsea Jarquin

Seminoles: Craftswoman, Tradition, and Cultural Heritage

Photographing Florida Seminole traditions holds immense cultural significance, serving as a visual documentation of their heritage and a means of preserving their traditions for future generations. The Seminole people have a rich cultural tapestry woven with traditions, ceremonies, crafts, and daily practices that reflect their unique identity and history. Through photography, these traditions are not only captured but also shared with the world, fostering understanding and appreciation for Seminole culture. The Seminoles have a deep-rooted tradition that encompasses various aspects of their daily lives, from language, and spiritually to customs and rituals. These traditions are imbued with a profound connection to the land, their ancestors, and the natural world around them.

Through storytelling, ceremonies, and communal practices, the Seminoles continue to honor and uphold their traditional way of life. The living arrangements of the Seminoles are closely tied to their historical experiences and cultural practices. Traditionally, they inhabited chickees, raised-platform dwellings with open sides that provided ventilation in the hot and humid Florida climate. While modernization and changes in lifestyle have led to some adaptations, the Seminoles still maintain a strong connection to their ancestral lands and traditional living practices.

In the tapestry of Seminole culture, women play a vital role in the craftsmanship that has been passed down through generations. Traditionally, Seminole women have been the custodians of intricate skills such as patchwork, beadwork, and weaving, which are crucial to the tribe’s identity and heritage. Their craftsmanship not only serves practical purposes but also serves as a means of artistic expression and cultural preservation.

Preserving the ideas and practices of old traditions is paramount to the Seminole tribe. Today, efforts to safeguard these traditions involve a combination of oral history, intergenerational teachings, and cultural institutions. While preserving their own traditions, the Seminoles also embrace the exchange of ideas and practices from other cultures, such as Hawaiians. This openness to external influences is not dilution of their identity but rather a testament to their adaptability and inclusivity. By incorporating elements from other cultures, the Seminoles enrich their own traditions and foster greater understanding and appreciation among diverse communities.

Dominic Turnbull

Riding with my Grandpa

My grandpa inspires me with his ability to balance his responsibilities as a man while maintaining his free spirit as a person.  He cares for and loves me and my sisters and is an incredible husband and father to my mom and aunts.  He is also the coolest grandpa that stays young by keeping his passion for riding motorcycles a part of his life. His love for motorcycles is incredible. It is a passion that one day I hope to share.

Elise Cohl

Effects on Elements

My body of work will be about how environmental elements like the sun and the rain can change our surroundings. Without maintenance to things like furniture, homes, and landscapes, things change. Materials deteriorate when they are in contact with water and sun for a long time. Wood deteriorates, metals oxidize, landscapes grow too much.

I find this topic interesting because I have noticed how there are always people working on their houses and so many landscapers and have wondered why this is necessary. There is one particular house near my neighborhood that is in such bad shape. The house is made of wood and the rain has damaged the entire building and the sun and rain have damaged the paint. As I look around more, I see that there are a lot of things that are being damaged by environmental elements, as well as overgrown plants that interfere with power lines.

I will be exploring several materials like wood, metal and plants and any other materials in my surroundings. I was influenced by the photographer Joel Gordon. He photographs a variety of things and makes them look interesting. I am in the process of exploring my neighborhood and looking at the many places that have been abandoned or have not been maintained where I can see the damage caused by the environment.

Gabriel Diaz

Human Nature

Since the start of time, it has been human nature to ignore the environment for survival, from the leaves gliding through the air, the river’s current, to the shining sun and moon that endure above all. However, in a world that has never been so far distanced from such environments than the present, it is more than ever important that people realize their innate dependence on such habitats for discovering their true self, no matter how rudimentary it may seem. In my photography project, I aim to tap into these intrapersonal links that South Florida residents may have with their environment, including the coasts, horticulture, ocean, and more, as a symbol of their ideals and identity in the larger world.

In my pieces, I touch upon the ideas of mutual subsistence as a hobby and exploration of self that does no harm, from fishing with release to mere immersion. Nevertheless, I do not look away from the harmful, in which manufacturing and materialistic needs have contaminated the environment with factories and greenhouse gasses. In sum, I hope to utilize my project as a redirection of individual futures, in which despite present grave challenges like climate change, nations and communities alike may persevere through their individual interest and relationship with the everyday landscape we inhabit.

Juliana Barreras

The Ghost Town of Miami

My project is about Sunset Place and how it used to be a popular place in Miami. A place where in the mid-2010’s  you would see everyone all the time. However, today it has slowly turned into a ghost town that nobody visits. My body of work captures the loneliness and emptiness of Sunset Place. It still has life, but very little. As time went by, other shopping malls  have taken the place that once belonged to Sunset Place. The people of Miami branched out to explore newer places to enjoy. Sunset place used to be vibrant, fun,  and it always had music playing. In the images you can see the opposite: dark, empty, and gloomy Sunset Place.

Because Miami is always changing, there will always be new places to interact with making older places seem less relevant or important. With time, the new will always come and the old will always be left behind. However, no matter what time brings, Sunset Place will always be in the memories of those who once visited it.

Lia Gonzalez

A Day at Robert Is Here

What is Robert Is here? Robert Is Here is a family-run fruit stand in Homestead Florida. Robert Is Here specializes in exotic rare fruits and vegetables grown on their farms. The location started as a stand on the side of the road, it had grown into a tourist destination with people from all over Florida and other states coming to enjoy their fruits, vegetables, and food.

Robert Is Here started as a stand on the side of the road selling cucumbers in 1959 from their family farm. Robert Moehling did this to avoid wasting produce from their family farm. The first couple of days only 1 or 2 people came and stopped by, But his dad had an idea by writing ‘Robert Is Here’ on a hurricane shutter and it has been a tourist destination ever since.

In my work I show my experience at Robert Is Here and express the usual busy lifestyle of the market. In my photos, I bring the noises of all the commotion, the looks of the vibrant colored vegetables, and the sweet smell of the exotic fruit.

Mya Turnbull

A Day in the Life of a Football Player

My project is on my brother, Dominic Turnbull. He does a sport called football which he’s passionate about. I’m going to be talking about my brother’s routine as a football player with having football practice five days a week and how he manages through it. My brother’s goal is to be in the NFL and take after our dad and that really inspires me to never give up on my dreams. My brother playing football has become a big part of mine and my family’s life and we all hope that he lives up to his objective. My brother playing football is what inspired me to create a day in the life of his routine of when he gets home from football and what his body and mind requires to stay fit to play football.

After football practice, my brother gets home and the first thing he does is get started on his homework. He spends plenty of time studying to keep his mind sharp. After he’s done with studying, he usually eats a healthy snack like fruits or vegetables to keep his body healthy and energized. After eating he usually likes to spend time with me, my parents, and my sister. Later during the afternoon he usually gets pretty tired from practicing all day, so he prepared to continue the same cycle the next day.

Victoria Cepero

Kung Fu Connection

I first learned about Kung Fu when I met Jessie. Before that my knowledge of the Chinese Martial Art came from unrealistic portrayals in Kung Fu movies and the panda. But Jessie has taught me that Kung Fu goes beyond physical strength and technique and is about unifying the body, mind and soul into harmony as well as applying these philosophies into daily life. She has been a Kung Fu student for over 10 years, at her school, Kung Fu Connection, the green mat has become her second home as it has become for so many others who walk through its doors.

Over the years she has mastered different forms, at times taking several months to complete a single one. A form is composed of different stances, footwork patterns, blocking movements, and striking and kicking techniques, and in Kung Fu there are over 400. After showing me videos of her promotions after learning a new form, I became interested in the process it takes for her to get to the point of promotion and mastery of these forms. So I decided to follow her through the process of one of her forms, from the beginning to the day of her promotion. Each class she focuses on mastering each stance of the form before progressing to the next part, not only mimicking the stances but feeling each movement she performs.

Through spending time at the studio and observing her and the other students, I was left in awe of their dedication to the art and to each other, as they worked together and relied on one another to better themselves.

The Jorge M. Pérez Family Foundation at The Miami Foundation.