Samantha Cabrera Friend is a visual artist from Chicago who uses photography, writing, and journalism to explore local histories, traditions, and sociopolitical issues affecting female-based communities on a global scale. She is a graduate from the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan as well as an independent curator and member of The Visual Desk—a Chicago based bi-weekly editorial support group for freelance visual journalists interested in a more inclusive approach to serve communities they engage in.

With a methodology based in historical and observational research, Samantha focuses on producing original narratives and long form reporting through the greater lens of the Latinx folkloristics. In both editorial and ethnographic work, she approaches her subject as an integral thread of their local history and believes in the power of documenting the everyday occurrence.

Her imagery includes past commissions with National Geographic, VICE, and the Olympic Channel, featuring stories inspired by her personal experience and strengthened through independent, historical research. Samantha’s practice has also led to collaborations with local museums, publications and educational institutions throughout México, Argentina and the United States.

She currently curates a public, historical photo archive on repairing the undocumented history of the quinceañera tradition, and exploring the changing roles it has played in shaping the American girlhood narrative. In all projects today, she continues to work towards illuminating new paths of research and community around utilizing creative mediums to rewrite one’s narrative history.

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