Now, I've created this book, a photo book, because being in school is strange. Being a teenager in school is even stranger, and my time there was especially odd—in a very depressing, suicidal way, I might add.

I told many lame lies when I was in high school. Fabricated stories about the most mundane things: having girlfriends, going on vacations—silly, childish fabrications. But I was so afraid of being outed. In that fear, I still manage to have endless crushes, feel overwhelmed with longing, and fall in love. High school was strange because I was simultaneously terrified of and enamored with the experience.

School-like environments can foster many behaviors, some outrageous or simple and silly, and others that are just incredibly intense. Especially for a boy, a queer boy, in an all-boys Catholic school.

While revisiting the scenes and actions etched deep in my memory, I endeavored to recreate and gain a deeper understanding of the traditional "boys will be boys" narrative. Through the act of recreation, I found myself contemplating the whirlwind of conflicting emotions I experienced in those moments. Some were homoerotic, while others were entangled in the complexities of power dynamics, aesthetics, and social interactions—complex human behaviors within all-male settings.

Interestingly, these behaviors—spanning from petty violence and random humiliation to intense camaraderie and bonding—shift in meaning with the context of each memory. Take, for instance, the crucial differences between bullying, hazing, and teasing. Some actions involved in these are theoretically identical; however, among boys, bullying aims to shun or reject, whereas hazing employs similar behaviors but strives for acceptance and belonging, marked by complicity and consent. It is about exhibition, performance, celebration, a yearning for contact, and a quest for belonging. Within a heteronormative, all-boys environment, hazing was often something I found myself desiring.

Over the years after my time in school I held onto those teenage uniforms and now with them created images that I hope will provide insight—not just into my trauma but to tell a story about what happens there, what I saw, and how it felt. This photographic recreation was meticulous. I looked through old photos, re read journals, made lists (I keep many lists) of moments and memories from what I had witnessed. I photographed myself throughout Bogotá, especially in the neighborhood where I grew up, and reenacted those transgressive school moments as faithfully as possible.

The themes of bullying, boyhood, and masculinity are deeply embedded in our society. They shape our worldview and influence my work. After overcoming seven years of depression that was my adolescence, I embarked on a performance journey over 18 months. I felt to enter adulthood in som health I needed to change—who I am, who I was. I decided to confront some demons and memories.

This book compiles the self-portraits I captured over the course of 18 months, wherein I present myself—disguised as my past—in these vulnerable, exhibitionist, and humiliating poses for the world to see. Within these pages, I can detail my journey and share the images that brought me some catharsis. Perhaps, in turn, they will offer you insight—not necessarily into who I am, but into what boys, schools and lies are.