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BFA Photography Student Delivers TEDx Talk on “Why People Matter”

brenda cantu

Brenda Cantu

In any work of art, or even in everyday life, it is important to emphasize with either the characters in a story or those around us. Recently, BFA Photography student, Brenda Cantu was invited by TEDx Talks to enlighten people to the fact that every individual that you cross paths with has struggles, dreams, and fears of their own and, most importantly, to make people realize that they do matter. Taking this into consideration, we should all be more aware of the attitude we choose to express towards strangers and acquaintances in our daily lives, because it truly does make a difference in the world.

“I hadn’t really acknowledged this until I started photographing and talking to strangers myself,” said Cantu. “I wanted to share that experience with the audience at hand.”

The Monterrey, Mexico native initially gained the attention of a woman from TEDx Talks through her social media accounts, which showcased her work. After a conversation over the phone, Cantu was invited back to her home country to deliver a TEDxYouth@ASFM Talk about this very notion: “Why People Matter.”

“I freaked out, of course, because I had never done anything like that, especially in front of such a big audience! On top of that, I was the only one being brought all the way from LA, and I felt really pressured to deliver something entertaining and great. But I took the opportunity anyway because I had to push myself out of my comfort zone and take this chance to expand my creative work and opinion with the people around me.”

Cantu hopes her talk will achieve a change of societal attitude.

"Chris" photo by Brenda Cantu

“Chris” photo by Brenda Cantu

“I personally feel that we’re at a time where we lack love and empathy towards individuals that we’re not as familiar with—and even those that we are with—and we lack the awareness of the fact that they feel as much as we do. I want nothing more than to see people being understanding, accepting, and supportive of other people even though they might share different beliefs and experiences, as long as these do not harm one another. It all really just starts with oneself.

Back at the New York Film Academy Los Angeles, Cantu is continuing a photography series called “Midnight Memories,” and is in the process of beginning a new personal project that should be released in the next six months.

"Josh" photo by Brenda Cantu

“Josh” photo by Brenda Cantu

“NYFA has not only made me grow in the technical and theoretical aspects of photography, but also in the humane, personal one. I’ve had the extraordinary opportunity of being taught and guided by overly talented teachers that have been nothing but inspiring and supportive to me and to my work. I’m deeply thankful for their insight and knowledge.”