Photographer shares stories of the marginalized, one image at a time

5 days 13 hours 20 minutes ago Thursday, May 17 2018 May 17, 2018 Thursday, May 17, 2018 11:12:00 AM CDT May 17, 2018 in News
By: Chelsea Haynes, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - A Columbia photographer has launched a series of portraits showing the faces of vulnerable and minority communities, in hopes of educating people in mid-Missouri.

Valérie Berta-Torales is a social documentary photographer, an activist and a mother who launched “The WE Project” in 2017 to share the stories of minority communities who experience discrimination on a daily basis. 

She said there needs to be a broader local and national conversation about diversity.

"We're not talking to each other unfortunately," Berta-Torales said. 

She said her goal is three-fold.

"Why not open their eyes, open their hearts and talk about all of the issues we have in this community and in our society?" she said. 

Berta-Torales believes minorities share a history of systematic discrimination, and she wants to bring together diverse community groups to continue the dialogue within their immediate spheres of influence.

Since it’s inception, The WE Project has expanded to multimedia videos in addition to still photos.

Berta-Torales said the project is vital given America's political and social climate. She said the rise in extremism seen since the election of President Donald Trump has been "alarming," showing racism isn't just a thing of the past.

“It’s always been there," Berta-Torales said. “A lot of people have fought it, but I feel that now it's out of the woods."

There is important work for the cultural community to do, she said.

"We’re beginning to see more voices come out -  through theatre, through the arts, but there is a lot of work to be done still," Berta-Torales said.

Her website calls "The WE Project," an opportunity to "engage in constructive dialogue about inclusion and diversity and to celebrate our common humanity." 

Berta-Torales believes that, through her photos, people will begin to hear the voices and see the faces of these varying minorities groups and, "hopefully change their minds and open their heart and their soul and be more accepting and compassionate about all of the different types of people we are living with everyday in this society.”

“I hope the role that I’m playing is to help open those doors and open those eyes,” she said. 

People wanting to share a personal story can contact Valérie Berta-Torales Photography and click on "The WE Project."

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens was pulled over Friday while speeding. Spokesman Parker Briden in a... More >>
6 hours ago Tuesday, May 22 2018 May 22, 2018 Tuesday, May 22, 2018 6:21:00 PM CDT May 22, 2018 in News
KAISER - One family says it is facing an immigration nightmare. Jia McDevitt's parents were detained at the Jacksonville, Florida, port... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, May 22 2018 May 22, 2018 Tuesday, May 22, 2018 5:20:00 PM CDT May 22, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - MUPD hosted a Citizen's Response to Active Threats training Tuesday. MU senior Olivia Botonis said learning about... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, May 22 2018 May 22, 2018 Tuesday, May 22, 2018 5:05:00 PM CDT May 22, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - Like actors rehearsing a script, Missouri lawmakers on Tuesday publicly read aloud the previously secret criminal... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, May 22 2018 May 22, 2018 Tuesday, May 22, 2018 4:35:00 PM CDT May 22, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- Missouri Lt. Gov. Mike Parson toured Columbia Tuesday afternoon to visit new business locations and talk about everything from... More >>
8 hours ago Tuesday, May 22 2018 May 22, 2018 Tuesday, May 22, 2018 3:42:00 PM CDT May 22, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - A Missouri environmental group is suing to overturn a law that lengthens the process the Department... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, May 22 2018 May 22, 2018 Tuesday, May 22, 2018 2:56:00 PM CDT May 22, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A jury trial in a wrongful death lawsuit in Carl DeBrodie's death is scheduled to begin March 2,... More >>
11 hours ago Tuesday, May 22 2018 May 22, 2018 Tuesday, May 22, 2018 1:20:00 PM CDT May 22, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia City Council failed to pass the controversial Henderson Branch sewer project in a 3-3 vote Monday... More >>
13 hours ago Tuesday, May 22 2018 May 22, 2018 Tuesday, May 22, 2018 10:49:00 AM CDT May 22, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The Latest on allegations against Gov. Eric Greitens (all times local): 5:35 p.m. ... More >>
14 hours ago Tuesday, May 22 2018 May 22, 2018 Tuesday, May 22, 2018 10:12:00 AM CDT May 22, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Springfield police say an 8-year-old girl who hadn't been seen since early Tuesday has been found... More >>
15 hours ago Tuesday, May 22 2018 May 22, 2018 Tuesday, May 22, 2018 8:36:00 AM CDT May 22, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - In the wake of the deadly Santa Fe High School shooting , the MU Police Department will be... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, May 22 2018 May 22, 2018 Tuesday, May 22, 2018 7:43:00 AM CDT May 22, 2018 in News
BRUSSELS (AP) — Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg faces senior European Union lawmakers later Tuesday to answer questions about a... More >>
19 hours ago Tuesday, May 22 2018 May 22, 2018 Tuesday, May 22, 2018 5:22:00 AM CDT May 22, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department said it found a missing teen around 1 a.m. Tuesday. Authorities said Brice... More >>
19 hours ago Tuesday, May 22 2018 May 22, 2018 Tuesday, May 22, 2018 4:41:00 AM CDT May 22, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia residents will have a chance to learn about - and talk about - climate change Tuesday night.... More >>
21 hours ago Tuesday, May 22 2018 May 22, 2018 Tuesday, May 22, 2018 3:00:00 AM CDT May 22, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - An on-going rift between two east campus communities has come to a breaking point. Non-resident property owners want... More >>
1 day ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 7:29:00 PM CDT May 21, 2018 in Top Stories
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A Kansas City man who told authorities he was hearing "voices" when he wounded two... More >>
1 day ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 7:07:41 PM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - More than 670 motorcycles poured into the Phillips 66 gas station off I-70 as the "Run for the... More >>
1 day ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 6:05:00 PM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A new fire station is in store for east Jefferson City, and the city council will review... More >>
1 day ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 5:10:00 PM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 70°
1am 70°
2am 69°
3am 68°
4am 67°