MADRE delves into who I am in relation to my female lineage and who I have become in relation to where I was born. The experience is a return to the womb, a journey back to my motherland in Bolivia.
Although mine is a pluricultural country with a rich loom of femininity, the representation of women remains whitewashed, unidimensional and phallocentric. I sought to challenge this inherent machismo and celebrate the diversity, complexity and contradictions of my country through the portrayal of its women. The project became a cathartic experience that allowed me to (re)connect to my ancestry and through it (re)invent the history of Bolivia.
In the series, family photos are deconstructed and women depicted through the archetypes of Mary Magdalene and Mary the Virgin but repossessed to reflect Andean traditions. To this day, Catholicism and class struggles permeate our society’s understanding of womanhood. Piecing together past memories and current observations my project explores the influence of race and religion in shaping the perception and representation of Bolivian women.
Situated between documentary and fiction, the images describe an existence interconnected and bridged by both, physical and mythological elements, a dance between the Hanan Pacha (the upper world in Incan mythology) and the Uku Pacha (the under or inner world) where women experience potentiality, change, loss, decline, and death.