Dora Leticia Martinez is a documentary photographer, filmmaker and web developer currently based in New York, USA.
In an effort to document the human experience, her travels have taken her all over the world – from USA, Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, Chile, Argentina, Peru, France, Spain, Italy, Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, the Netherlands, Nepal, India, Botswana, South Africa, Uganda, Turkey and United Arab Emirates.
She is the Founder of Lens Ethics and the creator and founder of “Documentary Work in Challenging Landscapes” – a ‘workshop and mentorship program for youth in post-conflict and at-risk communities around the globe.
My mother was blind. This simple truth opened my eyes. It was she who taught me how to see. She used to ask that I describe all that I saw – what the world looked like on a particular day. But, it was the descriptions she gave to me, of the world she remembered before she lost her sight, that are still with me. How the sun bled it’s oranges onto pink and purple skies, how blades of grass looked as they flew out of a lawnmower, now only a scent to her, the smell of freshly cut grass. I wouldn’t want to miss any of it, which is why I always have my camera with me. You never know what can come into your frame, the box you subconsciously expand and retract, letting it all in.
I am a visual artist. My mother is responsible for that and her blindness played a part in who I’ve become. There is no technique to describe, no process – it just is.
Photographs tell stories, they document. For me, the search is the most intriguing part, the discovery is truly amazing. When I bring the image onto the frame and I know it’s there, I hear her voice outlining the shadows and the light for me – and I know – it’s found. I don’t care if you like it. I don’t care if you care. I don’t concern myself with that.
I was almost 12 years old when I asked her if she could still see me – that’s when I learned I’d become a shadow. It’s this simple truth that makes me search for light that can dance eloquently with shadows, you know it’s there when it’s there. Perhaps it’s my search for her, but, that doesn’t matter to everyone else – that belongs to me. The work is what matters.
So, when something or someone fills my frame and I document it, I’d like to share that – whatever it may be – for you to see it – if you really want to see it.
Founder, Lens Ethics