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I.M.O.W. Team

Indigenous Women in Oaxaca

Indigenous populations and especially indigenous women are often discriminated against. Photographer Lucero Gonzales points her lens at a community of indigenous women in Oaxaca, Mexico and explores the ways these women contribute and thrive, despite discrimination and disadvantages.

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Photographs by Lucero Gonzales

Although I was born in Mexico City, I spent my childhood in Oaxaca and feel very connected to that region. I return to Oaxaca every summer. It's like paradise to me, and I love to reconnect with the indigenous people who I met as a young girl through my father, an epidemiologist who worked with the indigenous community.

Now as an adult, I try to balance two professions as both a sociologist and photographer. I want to create visual narratives that reflect the condition of women in these indigenous communities. My approach is always one of reciprocity: I learn from them and they learn from me. Though there are differences of culture, age, and occupations, there is a bridge between me and my subject because both of us are women. Through that, we have common struggles, as well as the shared desire to move forward in life with dignity and strength.

I am honored to feature these women doing their daily work, be it weaving, washing corn that becomes food for the family, singing, or selling her harvest. I hope that through my photographs I can contribute to the generation of new ideas in people that will help to change hearts and minds and improve the quality of life for indigenous women.

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