To celebrate Latinx Heritage Month this year, Ceremonia invited Latinx individuals to speak for themselves—to describe their identities in their own words, whether that means rejecting conventional, colonial terms or embracing them. With a mix of captivating studio portraits, interview footage, and raw iPhone content from Latinx folks, Ceremonia pieces together a story that authentically represents who Latinx people are. Ultimately, Ceremonia’s new campaign reminds us that each individual has a choice to identify as they see fit.

Colombian photographer, Josefina Santos, captures a unique cast that includes Maria Alia, a Palestinian & Puerto Rican content creator based in Brooklyn, Qori Camargo, a Trans Peruvian artist based in New York, Paola Ortiz, a Puerto Rican psychology student based in Pennsylvania, Karl-hens Pompilus, a Haitian photographer based in Brooklyn and Leslie Rodriguez, a Dominican American comedian based in New Jersey. 

Like fabrics joining to form a tapestry, each portrait holds its uniqueness and individuality while manifesting something greater—a direct reflection of the vast cultures, communities, and countries that embody “Latinx.” 

“In my Palestinian and Puerto Rican heritages, we really love to enjoy ourselves and celebrate even though our countries have faced a lot of terrible things. We still find joy and happiness and no one can take that away.” – Maria Alia

“Growing up, I had no representation. I was always looking for a [Latinx] person with curly red hair, just like wild looking, you know, freckles everywhere. But I never saw that. I just saw, like, straight blonde hair, straight brown hair, straight hair. I never saw curls anywhere.” – Paola Ortiz

“As a Latina, as a trans woman and I did not see myself represented, nor any of my friends. So, I shifted to adopting beauty as a very personal experience. Adopting it as a personal thing has been the one thing that saved my opinions of beauty, or the beauty industry, I should say.” – Qori Camargo

“I think beauty is different for everyone. Everyone’s idea of beauty is different. It’s just like a box, I don’t want to put anything or anyone in a box. I can tell somebody they’re beautiful, but I feel like it’s so different for everyone.” – Karl-hens Pompilus

“I was raised watching novelas and everyone I saw on the novelas had long hair, shapely bodies, beautiful faces. Being skinny was what was considered beautiful… I’m thankful that I didn’t have representation because now I am the representation.” – Leslie Rodriguez

Credits

Photographer Josefina Santos

Videographer David Barron