The fact that pain is political was made clear to me at an early age. I grew up during the Civil War in El Salvador. Most of my family fled to the United States during the war in the 1980’s and 1990’s. My mother refused to leave because she was in love with my father and pregnant with me. I grew up in a country attempting to rebuild itself after twelve years of my people dying while seeking liberation. My mother, brother and I finally fled to Long Beach, California when I was fourteen.

I received my BFA from California State University, Fullerton in 2012 and my MFA from the University of Minnesota in 2015. I have been a recipient of the Diversity of Views and Experiences fellowship. Through the use of photography, video, performance art and artist’s books, I explore intimacy, identity, pain, and how we perceive the suffering of others.

In the fall of 2015, my partner and I moved to Sauquiot, NY to begin our teaching careers and build the small farm of our dreams. Screaming sheep and goats are now part of our everyday landscape. I currently teach at PRATT Munson Williams and Hamilton College, In the classroom, I work with students to understand the way that images are laden with history and vocabulary. Photography tells stories, but who gets to tell the story matters. Even as we work to add our own images to an image-saturated world, I seek to instill the skills and desire to approach photography with an inquisitive and critical mind.

See more of Lorena's work at