portrait by María Magdalena Arréllaga

I make photographs, sculptures, paintings, films, and use my body to perform when necessary. I am intrigued by materials that give intimate value to inhabited spaces, specifically textiles, biographical objects, and objects that have been imagined feminine. Having moved nearly every year since my birth, my practice is conceptualized around memories of former dwelling-places and of place experience. I am fond of flowers, seeds, rivers, and the red dirt from Minas Gerais where my family and I migrated from. My favorite scent is of plywood because it reminds me of my father’s construction clothes. Most recently I have been incorporating glass and clay into my practice, two natural materials that are generally associated with home structures. Having witnessed my mother clean other peoples homes for most of my life, my practice also concerns domestic labour specifically as it pertains to undocumented workers. I am interested in asking questions about the ways in which migration affects the mental health of people who migrate, the interrelations between objects, space, and time, and the ways in which objects themselves migrate. As migration is often a result of displacement and disenfranchisement my research pays particular attention to the two.


June Canedo de Souza was raised in Minas Gerais for the first nine years of her life and in South Carolina for most of her adolescence by a working class family of undocumented domestic workers and construction workers. She was educated in the public schools of South Carolina and completed a BA at the College of Charleston.

In 2014, she released her first photography project titled Brazilian Girls, an archive of the women of Brazil. June has since exhibited at The New Orleans Museum of Art, La Plaza de Cultura y Artes, Fotografiska, MoMA PS1 Artbook, and more. In 2020, she self-published her first book titled mara kuya, a photography book that explores aspects of migration and family separation that are often overlooked, namely the mental health of children from mixed-status families. mara kuya was shortlisted for the 2020 Aperture Foundation Photobook Award.

Canedo de Souza has contributed to The New York Times, Vogue, TIME, iD Magazine, Bloomberg Businessweek, Dazed Magazine, and Art News among others. Selected by It's Nice That as a 2018 “One's to Watch,” June's work has been profiled by Cultured Magazine, Capricious, Wall Street Journal, W Magazine, and LensCulture. She has worked with brands such as Telfar, Nike, Google, and Netflix.

She currently lives in New York.

Selected press:
Paris Photo <-
Aperture Foundation Photobook Award <-
Hyperallergic <-
Cultured Mag <-
Democracy Now  <-

mara kuya the book <-


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