Feature Story: RIGHT TO LIVE
On Fri, Apr. 17, at 8 p.m., Stay Gallery showcased Virginia Yunes’ photographs of her travels through third world countries such as Brazil and Africa. Her photographs represent her message of looking at the world without borders; the idea that with intolerance in the world, she believes we need to respect one another.
At the beginning of the exhibit, Yunes gave a speech about what her art meant and what she wants people to take from it. Speaking to the people at the beginning allowed the viewers to understand the meaning and importance of each photograph they looked at.
Born in Argentina and raised in Brazil, her condition as an immigrant inspired her to photograph diverse groups of people.
“In every place I visited one thing stood out,” Yunes said, “everywhere there was a right to live with dignity and to be looked at with admiration.”
For the exhibit, her intention is to show a world without ideological boundaries, stigmas among others, and to show the uniqueness of each culture and way of life so that people can admire each other.
The very first place she traveled to was Brazil when she moved from Argentina. She explained what it is like to travel for her photographs.
“Traveling is like a bug that bites you and you can not stop traveling,” Yunes said. “Each year I always go to some different place: much of Latin America, Africa and Asia.”
Valentin Flores, director of Stay Gallery, who also has traveled to over 40 countries, shares how Yunes’s powerful photographs moved him.
“This exhibit was very dear to me because travel photography was what got me involved with the arts from the start,” Flores said. “Virginia’s exhibit took me back to all the places and faces that I met throughout my own adventures; her photography makes me want to drop everything and hit the road again.”
Leonar Gonzalez explains how Yunes’s photographs opened her eyes about the world.
“I’ve always been conscious about world poverty and lifestyle differences,” Gonzalez said, “but these images helped me see the pain and sorrow, the joy and hope in the eyes of the people portrayed."
Yunes donated all of the proceeds she made that night from her photographs to Stay Young, the gallery’s youth initiative organization. The exhibit will be available for viewing at Stay Gallery until Saturday, Apr. 25.
Sabrina Picou is a Junior at Downey High School. She is currently a writer for the school's newspaper, The Downey Legend and for Stay Gallery's Journal.
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