Meet Solomont Lytle-Hernandez, Josue Monterroso and Jose Lopez of JSJ Collective, KCRW’s featured artists for the Young Creators Project.
Photo courtesy of Josue Monterroso, Jose Lopez, and Solomont Lytle-Hernandez.

Young Creators Art spotlight: JSJ Photo Collective

Sixteen-year-olds, Josue Monterroso, Jose Lopez, and Solomont Lytle-Hernandez, otherwise known as JSJ Photo Collective, have been making photographs as a collective since ninth grade. The three meet up after school and on weekends to take pictures of their Koreatown neighborhood. Their submission for YCP pictures two men under a rainbow-colored umbrella preparing shaved ice, or “raspados.” Bottles and toppings sit centrally in the foreground as one man, shaved ice in hand reaches towards something in his cart, while staring ahead pensively, caught mid-thought.

JSJ is passionate about human rights, and as people of color, they dedicate their photo practice to documenting the Latinx community that works in their neighborhood. “America has a reputation of forgetting or simply ignoring the needs of colored people like ourselves,” they explain. Another thing happens when they take their photographs: they end up having conversations with the food vendors, chatting about their work, livelihoods, family, and sometimes, immigration status. Their photographs not only tell stories of subjects that often go untold, but they also act as icebreakers to meaningful conversations about community and belonging. As JSJ puts it, “we all have the same goal of thriving in this country.”

JSJ’s photograph for Young Creators Project pictures shaved ice vendors in Koreatown.

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