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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Immigrants’ stories told through photographs

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Evelia, Lupita Murillo Tinnen

By Robert Young/ reporter

Portraits that tell the stories of lives line the walls of NE’s Neo Gallery in Lupita Murillo Tinnen’s From Inside the Home: A Portrait of Mexican Immigrant Women

“Hilda” features a woman dressed in a suit standing by her sink. Tinnen said they are photographed mostly in the kitchen.

“That is their space,” she said. “The women make the home, and men make space outside.”

In her best dress, “Celia” portrays one of the immigrant women in her kitchen doorway. One can see past her through the doorway to another room where her children play, showing how the women are never far from their children.

“Amalia” is pictured holding a baking tray. Sometimes the women didn’t know what to do with their hands, Tinnen said, so she gave them something to hold to make them more comfortable.

Tinnen, a Fort Worth native, is a photography and humanities professor at Collin College. She is also faculty advisor for the League of United Latin American Citizens.

During a December visit to NE, Tinnen spoke about her career and inspirations explaining how she decided to photograph these particular women. She said the photographs tell the story of women who came to Fort Worth from Mexico while their homes show the blending of the two cultures.

Tinnen said she grew up in “the barrio” in Fort Worth, and every Friday for three years, she spent time visiting many of her mother’s friends and photographed them inside their homes.

“Mom would help by entertaining the women while I worked,” she said.

During the NE visit, student Lizeth Garcia asked Tinnen if the response to her work involving immigrants has changed since the late ’90s.

“Yes, because it’s relevant now,” Tinnen said.

NE photography instructor Ting Huang brought the artist to TCC. Huang said she chooses artists based on the aesthetics of the artist’s work and to introduce diversity in photographic practices to TCC students.

“I wanted to bring Lupita in, not only to share her beautiful photographs but to paint a very different picture from the so-called ‘criminals, drug dealers, rapists,’” she said. “Lupita’s works show that diversity is a beautiful and powerful thing.”

The exhibit in the NCAB photography wing is part of an ongoing lecture series and will be available for viewing through March 1.

“Our audience feedback has been tremendous, and we will continue the program in the spring semester,” Huang said.

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