Out of Many - Ellie Sophia

About the Project:

“It’s easy to blame, hate and fear those you don’t know, but if I’m the face you see when you hear intolerance, does it change the meaning for you?”

As I wrote those words on my social media page in the Fall of 2016, it was more of a plea than a question. As a Mexican American woman I was becoming increasingly fearful of the negativity I was encountering online. I put faith in the idea that exposing my heart, so others could relate to me personally, would help them gain compassion. It’s an idea that sometimes leaves me vulnerable, but ultimately led to this project. Allowing yourself to be vulnerable is scary, but so is change. Change rarely occurs without a major catalyst pushing you to feel uncomfortable in what once felt normal. I believe the current, tumultuous climate of our nation is that type of catalyst; a unique opportunity for us to challenge ourselves with what it means to be a community.

As a photographer, I believe in the power of images. I have the unique privilege of creating something that captures a moment in time, and hopefully impacts its viewer in a meaningful way. “Out of Many: One Community” was born out of my need to create something positive, during a time I have felt my most discouraged. My sincere desire is that it encourages our community to stop and see each other; to pause long enough to reflect on something new, and be impacted by someone different. Some of the participants may look like you and believe like you, others may challenge you. My hope is that it leads you to an open heart.

Sixteen Indianapolis neighbors volunteered to make themselves vulnerable, to give you the opportunity to know them. Their ages range from 7 to 89, from diverse faiths, ethnicities, and backgrounds. All of them with a unique word to share. One word, that above all else introduces who they are. I continue to put faith in the idea that exposing one’s heart, so others can relate personally, creates compassion. Ultimately, though we are many, we are all bound together as one community.


Meet the Volunteers

Out of Many: Khadijah

Out of Many: Khadijah

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