Marisol and The American Dream
Janet Jarman made her first photograph of Marisol in 1996. The young girl when the Mexican girl was eight years old, scavengning through waste with her mother and siblings, in the fading afternoon light at the Matamoros municipal garbage site. Almost two decades later, Jarman is still photographing Marisol.
During those years, Marisol and her family moved from Mexico to Florida and onwards to Texas. Marisol allowed Jarman to closely document her immigrant experience as she coped with new customs, discrimination and fear. Over time, the American Dream her family sought seemed to slip away, as they lost their home, and the parents divorced.
Through following the life of an individual over time, Jarman has tried to convey the numerous challenges experienced by thousands of Latino immigrants. She hopes that by bringing Marisol’s story to the attention of the general public, she can put a human face on the topic of immigration and contribute in a small way to making the debate a less contentious one, driven more by recognition of our common humanity than by hostility.