I am from Lysol and pillows/Yamilet Mendez Altar + Poem

Yesterday in near-to-full single-housewife mode at Silverlake Trader Joe's, picking up supplies for Easter party extravagances - oranges, orange juice, flowers - new community exhibition Where I'm From caught my eye. Organized by the Zimmer Children's Museum youTHink program, the pairs of images and writing from local students were the results of a photography workshop led by award-winning photojournalist and South Central native Sophia Nahli Allison. Students were asked first to write poetry on the topic of "Where I'm From" and to then use their poetic imagination to capture and create images. 

Yamilet Mendez is a 9th grader at Diego Rivera Learning Complex in South Central. Her image appears to be of an in-home altar, though further clarification would be needed to know for certain. Here is the accompanying poem: 

Where I'm From

I am from Lysol and pillows,

from habits abide.

I am from the comforts of home

where I can be who I want to be.

I am from the roses, delicate

but a thorny side when provoked.

I am from pinatas and festivity, 

from laughing and dancing about, 

from clouds in the sky above

and memories that never fade away.


Fake Out?

Riding the bus from Little Armenia to Echo Park, I glimpsed a telephone pole sprouting flowers in varying stages of decay.  Returning later to examine what I thought was an impromptu memorial (not uncommon in Los Angeles) I found the flowers to be lashed to the pole with teal and purple yarn.  There were no photos, notes, or memorabilia attached, and so I began to ask passersby if they knew what the flowers were for, or rather, “Did something happen here?”  The flower pole was outside of the Ronin Gallery, and one woman who worked a few shops down suggested that it was probably the galleristas who were responsible.  A man who came outside a neighboring business, apparently a soap manufacturer, confirmed that the gallery was responsible for the yarn and the soap shop added the flowers.  Though “tricked” by the inspired decorations of artists and soapmakers, I still figure the fake-out should be included  in my efforts to document altars and altar-like memorials in the city.