Itim , 2017

Itim, 2015

“Ang itim mo naman”. (You are so dark).

Itim, the title of the series, is a Filipino word that translates to dark; black. The word is loosely tossed around in our language in everyday conversations because we are constantly thinking about our skin color and how dark someone or ourselves are becoming.

As a child growing up in the Philippines, I was taught not to expose myself to too much sunlight for fear of my skin becoming darker. This is a typical conviction that Filipinos share. The extent of this fear reaches as far as developing skin whitening treatments that would lighten our naturally dark skin. The sentiment that the whiter the skin the more beautiful you would be was prevalent in our upbringing. Fear of becoming darker, and therefore not as beautiful, wholly translates to an internal and systemic racism that echoes within many Asian cultures, and beyond.

I shot in a way that shows an obscure blurring that comes from the movement of the subjects that mean to show an extraction of self that runs deeper than the skin, because of their skin.

This series attempts to photographically show societal whitewashing within my culture and for other people of color, by relating their own experiences, be able to recognize that this contributes to an internalized racism that plagues our society to this day