“I consider myself a rebel storyteller,” says Diego Moreno. Through his photographs, the Mexican photographer maps the cataclysmic toil religion, family, and cultural hegemony have had on his life as a young queer person growing up in Chiapas.
Rebel storytellers – individuals who dare to tackle injustice, refuse the pre-determined social order and stand for more expansive futures – remake the world through their creative gestures. They tell stories of survival against all odds and, in doing so, catalyse community in profound ways. Zanele Muholi, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Catherine Opie, Hannah Wilke, and Nan Goldin are just a few whose work provides a safe haven to engage with complex issues. The work of these storytellers demands a different kind of response – a mode of attention that is active and vulnerable.
Born into an intensely traditional Catholic family, Moreno was abandoned at a young age and a victim of domestic abuse and social exclusion. “Since I was little, I have always questioned everything, which is why my family always considered me a troublemaker – a rebel,” Moreno explains. “For me, being a rebel is a way of discovering oneself. I try to disrupt taboo issues in my contexts, such as religion, family, and culture, which in large part are systems of silent violence. In rebellion, I have found a way to embrace my difference.”