Photographer Devyn Galindo documented Mexican-American youth and identity in East Los Angeles with the debut book "We Are Still Here" — and it’s incredibly powerful.

"I don't feel like there are a lot of images that document the radical movements that are happening in Los Angeles right now, or the Chicanx experience in general — and especially not from a queer-inclusive point of view," she said explaining the book to i-D.

Galindo says Chicanx representation has been missing during this time of political upheaval, activism, and cultural awakening. "I felt I might as well take it upon myself to make it happen, to reclaim that space."

In a time when the dialogue surrounding immigration in America is at an all time high, this series is a true reflection of history happening in real-time.

Galindo's book was released a couple of days after the US election, and she acknowledged the "state of shock" everyone was in. 

"Even though what's happening with Trump is awful, it's not the first time that we as a community have had to face adversity. And if we're gonna get through it, we have to get through it together," she told i-D

Galindo shot the project over the span of one year to capture the Chicanx community's reality and its survival.

 

Galindo met all of the people she shot through spoken words nights, fundraisers, and punk shows.

As she met more girls that identified as Chicanx, they created a network and invited each other to events — bringing her project to life in a real and actionable way. 

There was also a zine included in the book with quotes and poems by some of her subjects.

In the zine, Galindo explains how the girls she shot are talented as hell and each of them share a unique way of expressing themselves, making the book a collaborative effort.

The portrait series also helped Galindo get in touch with her own cultural identity.

She told i-D that she never saw herself in the in the stereotypical "long hair, dark lipstick, and winged eyeliner" way. Getting in touch with the art and queer sides of the Chicanx community helped deepen her own cultural ties. 

These images command the audience to literally see — and try to understand — Chicanx cultura and its fight to, quite simply, exist.

You can purchase "We Are Still Here" on Devyn Galindo's site here.

h/t i-D