For the past 18 years, photojournalist Wanda Benvenutti has been traveling across the country, creating an extensive body of work that sheds light on a widely unrecognized topic.
Her book in progress, "American Boricua: Puerto Rican Life in the United States," documents Puerto Rican culture and life in America through her unique lens. "Boricua" is a term of endearment meaning Puerto Rican. (source)
And last night, she came back to where it all began—North Philly. In the Annenberg Hall atrium, Benvenutti spoke to a group of Temple students, faculty and staff as part of the Graduate Speaker Series.
In her lecture, Benvenutti didn't stray away from the hard-hitting topics still affecting us today, such as race and white supremacy in America.
She spoke about some of her own personal experiences of confronting race. She also discussed looking beyond race and getting to know someone for who they are, rather than making assumption upon seeing the color of their skin.
"Race exists, color exists," she said. "Let's talk about it."
She then showed a video segment with sound bites and images that gave the audience a glimpse into what she's been creating; "A taste of what it's like to be on the road," she said.
Benvenutti's images tell a story that might otherwise never have been heard.
"This is the power of photojournalism," said Benvenutti. "We're not here to be popular, we're here to tell the truth."
The event was held from 6-8 p.m. and hosted by Klein College Dean David Boardman. The Graduate Speaker Series presents regular events throughout the semester.