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Princesses in a land of Machos | Photographer: Nicola Ókin Frioli

Princesses in  a land of Machos | Photographer: Nicola Ókin Frioli | PHOTOGRAPHERS | Scoop.it

Before Spanish colonization blanketed Mexico with Catholicism, there were cross-dressing Aztec priests and hermaphrodite Mayan gods; gender flexibility was inherent in the culture. In much of the country now, machismo prevails and attitudes toward sex remain relatively narrow. But things are different in the southern state of Oaxaca where more pliant thinking remains. In the Zapotec communities around the town of Juchitán, men who consider themselves women—called “muxes”—are not only accepted, but celebrated as symbols of good luck.

 

Mexico City-based photographer Nicola “Ókin” Frioli traveled to Juchitán to photograph muxes for the series, We Are Princesses in a Land of Machos. His photos capture just some of the estimated 3,000 muxes in the area, which has a total population of around 160,000. The muxes traditionally adopt female roles like cooking, embroidery, sewing, and preparing for celebrations. They are seen as having special intellectual and artistic gifts.

Local lore has it that the muxes fell from the torn pocket of San Vicente Ferrer, the patron saint of Juchitán, during his holy walk over the town. Which is to say, they are the lucky, chosen people; colonizing the ephemeral state between genders, and bringing good fortune to a culture already blessed with open minds and good will.

 

Photo report's insight:


Nicola Okin Frioli's Official Photography website; Fine Art, Portraiture, Advertising, Fashion and Reportage Photography, Biography, Exhibitions. Okin is currently based in Mexico City.

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Dye Transfer | Mariette Pathy Allen

Dye Transfer | Mariette Pathy Allen | PHOTOGRAPHERS | Scoop.it

"Transformations" is a portfolio of 11 portraits of crossdressers that were made in the 1980s. The portfolio was produced to coincide with the publication of "Transformations: Crossdressers and Those Who Love Them", in 1989. In January, 1990, the series was exhibited at the Simon Lowinsky Gallery.

Photo report's insight:

Mariette Pathy Allen has been photographing the transgender community for over 30 years. Through her artistic practice, she has been a pioneering force in gender consciousness, contributing to numerous cultural and academic publications about gender variance and lecturing throughout the globe. Her first book "Transformations: Crossdressers and Those Who Love Them" was groundbreaking in its investigation of a misunderstood community. Her second book "The Gender Frontier" is a collection of photographs, interviews, and essays covering political activism, youth, and the range of people that identify as transgender in mainland USA and won the 2004 Lambda Literary Award in the Transgender/Genderqueer category. She has also been a valuable consultant to several films about gender and sexuality.

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