My artistic practice combines film, photography, music and audio to address issues of structural discrimination, violence, poverty, migration, marginalization and human rights. My work has always revolved around what I call the beautiful struggle: life after death, family stories, human resilience and bridging the spaces between these subjects. Working from a sociological and social justice perspective, I am inspired by imagery, sound, news events, landscapes and contemporary socio-political issues. 

I make every effort to connect to human beings and generate a feeling of empathy for the people that we usually overlook, including people who are both victims and perpetrators of violence. My work is informed by social science theories of social problems, which allows me to think critically about the world around me. Ultimately, I am a humanist who seeks to understand and build bridges through visual images, sound, and emotions. 

Check out more of Carlos' work here.


In light of recent high-profile shootings in Sacramento, the rest of the state and the country, Carlos Javier Ortiz’s project Between the Lines presents an examination of the Ferguson Effect, while exploring aspects of trust surrounding police-citizen relations. The artist will create a visual ethnographic short-film that offers an unprecedented look into the lives of residents of Del Paso Heights and South Sacramento affected by the recent spike in violent crimes, and how they negotiate their lives with the police and community.

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