This collaboration is generously supported by La Familia Medical Center (Santa Fe, NM), and aside from Jackie Munro, all artists are patients in LFMC’s Medication Assisted Treatment Program for Substance Use Disorders.
Jackie Munro is a filmmaker, photographer and educator working at the intersection of storytelling and community engagement. She produces communication campaigns for mission-driven organizations with her company Stories for Change in Santa Fe, NM. Her first feature-length documentary, Una Nueva Tierra (A New Land), was awarded the 2017 New Mexico Filmmakers Showcase award for Best Documentary. She holds a BFA in Photography & Imaging from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and has studied Spanish through Instituto Cervantes. She has taught at universities, in after school programs and in community settings in the US and Latin America. Her work has screened in festivals, at universities and at cultural organizations.
Candice McKim hopes to complete her GED and advance her career to build a better life for her daughter. She likes taking pictures because it’s soothing and fun, and she has learned a great deal about herself by doing so. She enjoys being able to see clearly and live a sober life.
Nikki Romero hopes to soon complete her Community Health Worker certificate at Santa Fe Community College so that she can help others in her situation. Her message to those suffering from addiction is to not give up on their health, which is the source of life.
Jolene Martinez likes to draw, make art, play games and joke with her kids and see how much her baby changes every day. “I didn’t know what love was until my son was born, and I held him in my arms. All I want to do is be a good mom to them.”
I believe in the ability of intimate documentary work to help us know individuals who seem very different from us as well as more deeply understand ourselves, our place in our communities and our ability to affect change. Using collaborative, storytelling-based processes, I co-produce projects with those most affected by a social issue. It has been an honor to work with Candice, Nikki and Jolene to bring this work to fruition.
La Familia Medical Center’s Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Program for opiate addiction opened its doors 5 years ago and we are proud to say that we have served 400 patients and delivered 100 healthy babies through our program. We also acknowledge that addiction has many causes that cannot be addressed within the clinic walls. In an effort to make our community a more supportive space for those recovering from addiction, we have been working to shift the narrative on addiction and recovery to one that addresses the roots of this epidemic and de-stigmatizes life-saving treatment. Candice, Nikki and Jolene, patients in our MAT program, have been using photography, audio, video and writing to explore narratives of addiction and recovery over the last 18 months.
I also worked on other work while in residency. UN ESPEJO (A MIRROR) is a long-term collaboration between myself and residents of Potreillos, a small community in rural Nicaragua.
The project is grounded in the belief that all collaborators are both teachers and learners of ways of looking, seeing and witnessing. The camera serves as a way to record what comes of these interactions.
Like looking in a mirror, having an image made of you is a constant dialogue between who you are and who you wish to be, how you hope to be seen. As documentarians, we bring our own perspective to how we shoot. As subjects, we perform. This work explores these relationships based on a simple framework:
1. The camera changes you,
2. In a way that shows your reaction to me,
3. In this moment. Right now.
The project is constantly evolving and never finished.
To situate oneself in the history of a particular artistic medium, or the history of art more broadly, is an empowering act. When artists/participants learn to decode the images they see everyday, and see their images as a part of that continuum, they gain another level of confidence in telling their story and situating themselves in the world. My goal is always for the participants in collaborative documentary projects to produce work of advanced technical skill that can be utilized in both communication campaigns about the program and in artistic venues. Guerilla media-making, such as videos of civil rights abuses and up-close images of war posted to Facebook, have been powerful tools in educating us about the struggles that others face. This work is imbued with a similar spirit but takes a slower approach, looking at the root causes of social inequity and offering counter-narratives with the aim of changing the way we see the world. Our time at SFAI was valuable on many levels. It helped participants understand how their work functioned within the art community, offered them opportunities to connect with artists doing similar work and gave us an opportunity to bring underrepresented communities to the SFAI space to view the work in a gallery setting.