Updates..Photo & Video

Sorry to say it’s been a few months since I last posted information on the project.  Unfortunately they were many reasons why it’s taken me a while to update this page.  Hurricane Sandy really threw a wrench into our lives here in NY/NJ/CT.  It took a while for all of us to recover not just physically but emotionally.  In terms of response, we collected clothing and did clean up in affected areas.  Personally I helped organize a Help-Portrait Event for people affected by the storm.  With over 150 volunteers and over 250 families photographed and cared for, it was a unbelievable event.  Free family portraits, toys, food and good company all in one day.  Super grateful to have been part of it. This took weeks of planning, hence I have been off the radar.

Finally, the unthinkable occurred in early November.  My hard drive crashed!  With it all of my work from the past year, to include most of my YLP project work. Though, not the photos as I have all the photos in film, so it’s always backed up.   I like to be transparent here and say that it took a lot of time and money to get it recovered, but in the end I have all my work back and now it’s time to get up and running again.

The delay in progress means we are looking at a November date for the release of the YLP photo book and photo exhibition.  I am sorry for the delay, but it’s necessary for the integrity of the project to have more time.  I will let you know more on the date later.

In the mean time, please enjoy these behind the scenes photos and a special video I put together to summarize the trip to Puerto Rico where I photographed and interviewed 4 former Young Lords members.  It was not easy hauling around 100 lbs of camera, lighting, audio and video gear, but I learned a lot from this trip

Julio Cotto YLO, Marie Ramirez YLO, Vicente “Panama” Alba YLP and Carmen DeLeon YLP.

It was an amazing and surreal experience to hear their stories and to see how passionate they are about the struggle for liberation today.  They keep on fighting.  Special thanks to Panama for hosting me and taking the time to help organize the itinerary for the trip and for driving the many miles around the island with me.  Mil Gracias.

Here is the video:  Timelapse and video.  Enjoy.

Puerto Rico YLP Project Recap from Will Salomon Orellana on Vimeo.

Julio being interviewed in his living room

Julio y Panama

Marie being interviewed in her living room

Marie and I

Marie’s Shirt MINH

Carmen being interviewed in her living room

Carmen & I



35th Anniversary of Statue of Liberty Take Over

35 years ago today, the Statue of Liberty was taken hostage as an act of protest for the liberation of Puerto Rico and the Puerto Rican political prisoners by the former members of the Young Lords Party. While in Puerto Rico, I asked Panama (he was a main organizer) if he could speak about the Statue of Liberty take over. This is how he saw it.

*The video is a bit shaky as it was filmed hand held.

Filmed in Viejo San Juan El Moro by Will Salomon Orellana


YLP Statue of LIberty Panama from Will Salomon Orellana on Vimeo.

Off to Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico, here I come.  Although, not to vacation.  I will be leaving in a few hours from JFK to SJU airport.  The goal: to photograph, interview and Honor the Legacy of the Young Lords Party members.

I will be posting pictures and some BTS footage from this travel.  In the mean time check out this picture of some of the equipment I had to pack for the trip.

Only a few of the items I had to pack for PR. A lot of stuff, but necessary. 



A Journal of the Process…….

I am excited to write my first post and in announcing that this site (www.younglordsproject.com) will serve as a resource for exploring the wisdom of the Young Lords Party Members and will also serve as a journal of the amazing experience and process that I am going through in interviewing and photographing these heroes.

Here is a link to the successful Kickstarter Campaign that made this all possible. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2003141254/the-young-lords-project

The reason it was successful is because of all the exceptional people who believed and contributed to see this body of work come to fruition.  I will soon post the names of everyone who helped.  I am grateful to you all.

I welcome anyone visiting this site to come along with me in this journey to preserving and Honoring Legacy: The Young Lords Project.