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'Female in Focus' award, 2022 winner 'Ñaupas' by Bolivian photographer Marisol Mendez.

Exhibited from October 28 to November 24 at the Photofusion gallery in Brixton, London.

The morenada is one of the most popular dances in Bolivia. It depicts African slaves forced to work in the silver mines of Potosí or to crush grapes in the vineyards of the Yungas, during the colonial period. The Ñaupas (quechua for ‘ancient ones’) portray the older enslaved women. The rattling of their matracas imitates that of the chains that bound the slaves’ legs. This image belongs to the series Madre. Piecing together past memories and current observations, the project explores the influence of race and religion in shaping the perception and representation of Bolivian women. Through it I strive to challenge macho-patriarchal structures and celebrate the diversity and complexity of my culture through the portrayal of its women.

Project 'MADRE'

It is a work that celebrates the diversity of Bolivian culture, focusing on the representation of women. Starting with images from my family archive, the project takes a critical stance that questions both my personal and national history as well as the place given to women within it. The images propose an interconnected narrative through a multiplicity of bodies, symbols, and times that subvert religious icons, placing them in relation to indigenous culture. Likewise, the intercalation of documentary and staged photographs allows the incorporation of new Bolivian identities both from the first and the third person....

<<- More about Marisol Mendez and her project MADRE

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