Ada Trillo

Contact Information

Phone: 215-531-1543

James Oliver Gallery, Philadelphia, PA 

Agora Gallery, New York, NY


Artist's Biography

Ada Trillo is a documentary photographer based in Philadelphia, PA and Juarez, Mexico. Trillo holds degrees from the Istituto Marangoni in Milan and Drexel University in Philadelphia. Trillo’s work is concerned with human rights issues facing latin american culture. Trillo has documented forced prostitution in Juarez and the recent migrant caravan attempting to reach the U.S.. Trillo has exhibited internationally at The Photo Meetings in Luxembourg, The Passion for Freedom Art Festival in London and at the Anya and Andrew Shiva Gallery at the John Jay College in New York. She is a recipient of the Leeway Foundation’s Art and Change Grant, and in 2019 was named the Visual Artist-in-Residence for Fleisher Art Memorial in Philadelphia. Her work is included in the permanent collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Ada Trillo grew up in Juarez, Mexico, at one time, called the most violent city in the world. Her photographs capture the cruelty and injustice of failed and inhumane immigration policies that continue to devastate migrants from Mexico and South and Central America. She often returns to the US/Mexican border driven by her desire to tell the stories of the otherwise forgotten. Trillo is commited to giving back to her subjects and proceeds from her recent work helped to build a shelter for women involved in the sex trade in Juarez, Mexico.

Artist's Statement

I am currently working on a project documenting the caravan of thousands of Latin American families that are marching through Mexico to the U.S. border in search of a better life, free from gang violence and extreme poverty. This caravan, which started in Honduras in early October, faces strong opposition from the political right and Donald Trump, who has threatened to send troops to the U.S. border and cut aid to Central America. Despite these threats, the Latin American families in the caravan have continued to push toward the U.S. border. Thankfully, the Mexican people and authorities have shown compassion, giving those traveling with the caravan necessary food, clothing and shelter during the difficult and often dangerous journey. Priest Alejandro Solalinde, director of the Hermanos en el Camino shelter in Ixtepec, Oaxaca, and one of the most prominent figures in the fight for immigrant rights in Mexico, has said that immigrants suffer a exodus when they cross the border in their fight to reach the American Dream because they are "exposed to all types of violence as soon as they leave their countries." I have witnessed this exodus firsthand in my work documenting immigrants. The people that I have met are not the criminals depicted by Donald Trump--they are parents, students, and children with the same hopes and aspirations as the European immigrants fighting religious and political persecution at the turn of the 19th century. Like those before them, they can make the United States a better place if given a chance. There are over 7,000 immigrants traveling in the caravan, over 2,700 of which are children. Without a sound immigrant policy, however, many immigrants have been caught in a no-win and unjust situation. My mission is to document the plight of these immigrants, expose the truth about who they are and the injustices that they suffer, and make people aware of all that they have to offer the United States. I intend to tell their stories of bravery, strength and perseverance.