In 2014, I documented the blissful moments of people and crowds in the middle of a live music concert. I wanted to feel their bliss. In retrospect, these are a self-portrait of someone I wanted to be: young, excited, and free. I asked the dancers to dance as if no one was watching to a tune in their heads. Now, in 2021, what I captured in these images feels like a time long passed—a time where we all were experiencing bliss. The 21 pieces that make up The Bliss Project are a symbolic gesture to portray our lives before the pandemic and to project optimism about the future.
Alejandro Cartagena works with photography and video to explore issues of identity, place, and the environment. He is the creator of The 50 Carpoolers.