What Just Happened explores the week in the life of a person through their photos, offering another way to tell a story.
Photographer Destiny Mata grew up in New York, spending most of her time on the Lower East Side, where she still lives. Her aunt is the late fashion photographer Chayo Mata and Destiny spent her youth on set in the studio, but in her own work, she prefers to photograph on the street.
Mata started the week at J’Ouvert, the annual West Indian nighttime parade in Brooklyn. Mata’s mother once took her to it when he was in high school and she saw Beenie Man on a float, and she’s now gone for the past three years. She arrived at 3am, an hour before it started, and didn’t leave until nine in the morning. When it was over she was covered in baby powder and paint, just like everyone else.
The rest of her time was spent around her neighborhood: a couple quick portraits at her friend Lady’s art opening on Orchard, a shot of an old man posted on Clinton, and one of artist Riz Robinson at his outdoor space on Essex under the scaffolding. Some of the images are of her friends and neighbors at the Lower East Side Lillian Wald Houses, where Mata has lived for almost 14 years. She’s made it an on-going personal project to photograph the residents before the neighborhood changes completely. “I need to document it before we’re kicked out of here,” Mata says. “It’s going to happen eventually.”