Karla Lizethe Hunter, a British-Guatemalan documentary and portrait photographer based in London whose work spotlights the Latinx diaspora
How has your lived experience shaped your practice?
I was born in Guatemala and grew up in South East London. It’s meant I’ve had to spend time defining myself in my practice as more than ‘other’; the box you fill out in those forms. Growing up in the city I appreciate the number of resources and conversations I’ve had throughout my career.
What are some of your biggest influences and motivations in your work? What issues are you passionate about working on?
My mother inspired me first and foremost to pursue my creative outputs – I owe a lot to her taking endless images of me as a child looking back on it now. She taught me to follow that, as it can be a saviour in moments of doubt. A big motivation for me is to create with the intention of giving voice and offering representation for those who I photograph.
How does a focus on people and places in the diaspora feed into your work?
I often find people are drawn to the authenticity reflected in my work. I cast a lot of everyday people and seek moments that reflect the human nature of connectivity between us as a society. Working with other creative LATAM women I’m endlessly inspired and proud to be a part of that community.
Can you tell us bit more about your journey into visual storytelling, and particularly about your journey into the documentary of the Save Latin Village campaign?
I studied photojournalism with the intention to be in news reporting. In my final major project, I travelled back to Guatemala to tell the story of a woman who was a survivor of human trafficking. My university however, discouraged me from presenting this towards my degree. So in my research looking for stories highlighting the Latinx diaspora closer to home I came across the Seven Sisters indoor market.Visiting during those times pre-COVID it transported me to a place where I felt able to safely connect with others about my LATAM experience. Hear their stories and make friends as well as enjoy the food!
Where are you based and what excites you about the creative community around you?
When you talk to me you can definitely tell I’m from South London and I’m proud of that. We have a beautiful ecosystem of talented musicians and artists that call this part over the river home. I’m excited to see what journey unfolds, knowing that our generation will be the next to set the bar.
See more of Karla’s work on her website HERE