LIDIA MARIA ISAAC DE MOTA
I am from Villa Nazareth in La Romana, Dominican Republic and was raised just outside of the city in Guaymate. After I graduated from high school, I moved closer to the city center, got married, separated from my first husband, remarried, and became a mother to my two amazing daughters. In 1994, my family left the Dominican Republic for New York City. Now, I spend my time participating in photography with the Bronx Senior Photo League and doting on my grandchildren.
I have always been interested in the arts. When my daughters were little, I would take them to the Met every Saturday. There was always an instructor that gave a tour and then some sort of art class. Now, I go to the Museo del Barrio and the museums on 5th Avenue. I started with the Bronx Senior Photo League after seeing some members of my senior center working on their projects. I had never heard of the program before, so they invited me to join their class. I used to buy disposable cameras, and take photos here and there, but I didn’t know photography had so much potential. Photography has a lot of power and an even richer history. I never imagined my photos would be showcased in an exhibition. I am so proud that people are interested in and love my work.
The COVID-19 crisis makes me think of all I have lost, but still, I move forward with hope. Before the virus, I had a lot of fun in my life. I spent time with family and my friends at the senior center, and would venture out to go to church events like jewelry making classes or Jarabe dance festivals. I could go where I was invited without reservation, and enjoyed walking freely on the streets. Now, it’s been a long two months away from my daughters and granddaughters.
This pandemic should teach us all a lesson. People should get to know each other more and learn to survive as we adjust to a new way of life. We just need to have patience.
PERSONAL PROJECT: ALWAYS LOOKING UP
During the COVID-19 global pandemic, students documented their experience with physical distancing and self-quarantine. As we had no access to their cameras, they used their mobile phones to capture the constant changes they faced, both positive and negative.