Photo by Adriana Araujo

Empowering marginalized Montrealers through art

Montreal artist Adriana Araujo’s art inspires overcoming adversity.

Adriana Araujo is a Montreal based photographer and 3D animator who suffers from asthma and physical pain. As a young child, Adriana’s asthma often prevented her from spending time with her peers.

“I had to be home-schooled for nearly half a year. The doctors thought I suffered from bronchitis, so they kept prescribing me antibiotics,” she explained.

Although the severity of her conditions has significantly diminished since her childhood, Adriana still occasionally experiences some challenges due to the fatigue caused by her asthma attacks and the physical pain she experiences during her street photography projects.

“Since I work outside a lot, sometimes this causes me to have shoulder pain.”

In order to improve her career opportunities, Adriana sought the assistance of AIM CROIT (Association internationale des machinistes-Centre de réadaptation, d’orientation et d’Intégration au travail), a non-profit organization subsidized by Services Québec. The mission of this organization is to help people with physical, sensory and neurological disabilities achieve all their professional goals.

“The changes they made to my CV and the employment tips they provided me with have really helped me with my job search,” said Adriana gratefully.

Nine years ago, Adriana made the decision to transition from being a licensed dental practitioner to a photographer and animator.

“I became interested in photography through the photos I took of my patient’s teeth,” she explained.

Adriana believes that street photography is an important tool that can be used to capture the interesting stories of ordinary Montrealers.

“My photographs explore people’s authentic emotions and capture their story in a more artistic format.”

—Adriana Araujo
Photo by Adriana Araujo

The stunning composition of her photographs embellish the beautiful but often chaotic nature, of urban life.

“Photography is a way of organizing the chaos in our world”

—Adriana Araujo
Photo by Adriana Araujo

Adriana, who has been living in Montreal for eight years, considers the city to be an important source of inspiration for her creative projects.

“I am really grateful to have started my career as a street photographer here. I love the free cultural activities and the city’s interesting history.”

—Adriana Araujo

Photo by Adriana Araujo

Her fondness for the city is expressed through the many compelling photographs she has taken of Montreal’s most iconic cultural landmarks, such as Place Des Arts and Square Victoria.

Photo by Adriana Araujo

Adriana’s exceptional photographic skills were formally acknowledged through her acceptance into two prestigious gallery shows at the Société Historique de Montréal and the Hôtel de ville de Montréal, which focused on Montreal-based urban photography.

One of the most interesting aspects of Adriana’s photos is how they imaginatively capture the hidden aspects of our urban environment which we tend to ignore. A crucial part of her ethos as an artist is that it is important to explore the struggles of disenfranchised individuals, such as the homeless population, which are overlooked by the mainstream media.

“Art can be used to raise public awareness and unite people to incite positive social changes.”

—Adriana Araujo
Photo by Adriana Araujo

Although her work has not yet explored the issue of disability rights, it is a topic that she would like to address in future projects.

“I want to show the public how it can be challenging to have a physical problem. It is more difficult for individuals with handicaps to find employment and they are more likely to live in poverty. People with disabilities need more attention and government resources,” she said solemnly.

In order to complete many of her creative projects, Adriana relies on computer software, such as Blender, which she uses for animation, to tweak the imagery that she creates for her clients. Although there are undoubtedly numerous benefits to technology, many artists feel that, in the future, its rapidly encroaching presence may diminish the authenticity of creative works.

According to Adriana, the arrival of new technologies such as artificial intelligence will likely have a mixture of positive and negative social consequences. Contrary to popular belief, she asserts that, “Many new professions will exist in the future because of artificial intelligence.” 

Adriana also emphasized her perception that robots will never be able to create original creative works.

“In the future, artificial intelligence may substitute humans in certain professions like medicine, but I think that AI will not be able to replace artists. You need to be able to feel emotions to make art, which machines cannot do.”

—Adriana Araujo
Adriana Araujo

It was truly a pleasure to meet someone as passionate, interesting and creative as Adriana. As someone who is avidly enthusiastic about the socially transformative effects of art, I would strongly encourage readers to visit Adriana’s blog and social media pages. The imagery presented in this article are just a small sample of her vast repertoire of impressive creative works.

For a complete collection of her images, please check out Adriana’s pages on Flikr and Instagram. If you would like to purchase some of her photographs, you can do so here. To learn more about Adriana’s background and to support her future projects, please click on this link. If you would like to support the important free professional services which AIM CROIT provides for its clients, we encourage you to like our social media pages on Facebook and LinkedIn. To learn more about AIM CROIT, please visit their website.