A long time ago, on an island far, far away I saw Star Wars with my father in Puerto Rico. My six-year old self was mesmerized.
Star Wars became my escape, helping me face the challenges in my life with its lessons about hope for positive change, self-acceptance, loyalty, and redemption. The movies also helped me cope with a childhood marred by my parent’s divorce, my body image, and my outsider status after being uprooted from my island to the U.S. mainland. But my fandom also led to intense bullying. To avoid shame and embarrassment, Star Wars became something I secretly loved.
Fandom Unbound merges my love of Star Wars and documentary photography with my quest for an accepting Star Wars community. My photos elevate the diversity of Star Wars fandom, capturing the experiences of plus size and other diverse fans, who are redrawing the boundaries of inclusion. Taken at Star Wars Conventions from 2015 to 2022, my photos acknowledge the complexity of self-presentation in spaces where they are not typically seen or represented. Through this project, I hope viewers will be inspired to emulate my subjects’ courage and freedom to be unabashed Star Wars fans.
Rhynna M. Santos is a Puerto Rico-born documentary photographer and teaching artist living and working in the Bronx. Ms. Santos’ art captures the beautiful, painful, funny, and endlessly complex lives and perspectives of people of color in her community.
In 2022 Ms. Santos’ work, “Reflections on Indigeneity in the Bronx,” was featured in the Photoville photography festival. Her exhibition #papielmaestro, a documentary exploration of the life of her father, jazz great, Ray Santos, was profiled by the New York Times in 2018. Later that same year, Santos was chosen as an En Foco Fellow and her work exploring the lives of Latina Muslims was exhibited at Andrew Freedman Home and featured in Nueva Luz Photographic Journal. She has also been featured in the New York Times, Race Related Instagram feed, for her project on BIPOC Star Wars fans, “Fandom, Race and the Force.” Additionally in 2018, she was recognized as a Lit List finalist by the Authority Collective. Her work has been featured in Jerome Avenue Workers Project 2015, Living Latina 2016, Photoville 2018 and Bronx Now 2018.
Santos is the founder of the Bronx Women’s Photo Collective and curator for the Instagram feed Everyday Bronx.
Founded in 2011 in Brooklyn, NY, Photoville was built on the principles of addressing cultural equity and inclusion, which we are always striving for, by ensuring that the artists we exhibit are diverse in gender, class, and race.
In pursuit of its mission, Photoville produces an annual, city-wide open air photography festival in New York City, a wide range of free educational community initiatives, and a nationwide program of public art exhibitions.
By activating public spaces, amplifying visual storytellers, and creating unique and highly innovative exhibition and programming environments, we join the cause of nurturing a new lens of representation.
Through creative partnerships with festivals, city agencies, and other nonprofit organizations, Photoville offers visual storytellers, educators, and students financial support, mentorship, and promotional & production resources, on a range of exhibition opportunities.
For more information about Photoville visit, www.photoville.com
Featuring: Rhynna M. Santos
LocationsView Location Details Van Cortland Park
Bronx, NY 10471
- Monday 6:00 am - 10:00 pm
- Tuesday 6:00 am - 10:00 pm
- Wednesday 6:00 am - 10:00 pm
- Thursday 6:00 am - 10:00 pm
- Friday 6:00 am - 10:00 pm
- Saturday 6:00 am - 10:00 pm
- Sunday 6:00 am - 10:00 pm