TILT Institute for the Contemporary Image

Muffy Ashley Torres

Muffy Ashley Torres Born in and ‘repping’ Philadelphia while having her heart on the U.S./Mexico border, Muffy Ashley Torres is a multifaceted, self-taught artist. With a diagnosis of a chronic illness at a young age, she “found in art a way to navigate and deal with the physical pain I often endure. Through photography, I embrace the opportunity to freeze moments and make a statement against the current socio-political climate… I believe visual art has the ability to strike emotions that can pave the way for a revolution and capture the beauty within the struggle. Striving for social justice through the process of learning and unlearning whom and what society has deemed significant for too long, I find my greatest motivation in resistance: dancing in and out of the closet, I hope that the art I create resonates with others who often struggle with being unheard.”

Fundación Fuerte

For my family, loss has been a recurrent theme. Shortly after losing our beloved abuela, we also lost our home. A development collapsed onto our family house and made it uninhabitable. Our house was home to many and its doors were always open. Mama Agustina taught us to share by taking in loved ones and those who needed more love.
This work is dedicated to her.

Within this pain, we are aware of how privileged we still are. Since Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico on September 20, 2018, our extended family has also felt extreme loss. Loss
of property, electricity, and resources, but they hold on with an incredible amount of hope. I want to honor their experiences, as well as our own.

Living in separate housing, we are displaced. Now, our home has been demolished. We intend to rebuild, despite the aggressive offers to buy our land. My family is among many who are resisting to sell to those who prey on lower income neighborhoods in order to make a profit.

These photos channel the emotions of our entire family’s resistance.