Back and white portrait of artists looking into the camera

Fonografia Collective

Fonografia Collective believes in empathetic and culturally-sensitive documentary storytelling about people around the world. We craft compelling stories about human rights, politics, the environment, and social justice issues and share them with the general public using audio, oral histories, photography, the printed word, multimedia, public installations, public talks and events. In our role as editors and producers, we support others in doing the same.

Sixteen years ago, when we started working together, we wanted to find a way to compliment each other, to allow audiences to get a more human and intimate view into people’s lives through out work. Fonografía is a word we made up, meaning “representation of sound by signs” in Spanish. But we also liked it as a play on words: “fono” means sound and “grafía,” as in fotografía, is writing with light. We met in 2005 during a road trip to Piedras Negras, in Coahuila, Mexico, and fell in love with each other and with each other’s approach to storytelling almost immediately.

We’ve been collaborating since to advance our vision of a more inclusive and diverse approach to nonfiction storytelling, focusing on communities across the U.S. and Latin America that are often misrepresented or misunderstood by the mainstream media or the public. As consultants with a variety of institutions, nonprofits, and individuals, we strive to do the same.

We are producers and board members of Homelands Productions, a 25 year-old independent documentary journalism cooperative. Until Spring 2017, we collaborated with public radio station KCRW on a year-long multimedia storytelling series about aging called Going Gray in LA. In 2018, we worked on another year-long storytelling project about Los Angeles’ Bowtie Parcel in conjunction with Clockshop, an arts organization in Los Angeles. In 2019, we developed a storytelling project with the LA County Department of Regional Planning called A People’s Map.