This story can resonate with anyone who has ever felt the pullof distant horizons. Taken over a period of 3 years in New York City,  Safe Heaven presents a story common in any big city or metropolis where the experience of immigration is intertwined with the search for a better life. 

At the core of the project lies the theme of longing and the quest for identity in a country. The stories are woven together by a common thread that captures the essence of the immigrant experience: the search for a space to call one’s own, a place to call home. 

The first body of work, Panteras Negras, explores the lives of immigrant waitstaff who provide not only drinks but also companionship to lonely men searching for refuge in a new city. 

In contrast, Safe Heaven uses color as a metaphor for diversity and acceptance. The series captures the lives of Mexican immigrant women who have found a space where they can be masters of their own world, where they have the freedom to control their time and their choices, and a place they can call home.

Ruth Prieto Arenas is a documentary photographer that works on long-term projects and commissions for publications worldwide.  Ruth’s work has been exhibited internationally in galleries and museums, showcasing her innate ability to capture and depict the essence of human emotions and stories.  She primarily uses her analogue medium format camera to work and connect deeply with the people she photographs. 

Ruth lives and works in Berlin and Mexico City.