Skin Deep is an interactive photographic experience. It presents fifteen stories, representing the diverse sexualities and gender identities of the queer community in Ecuador.
This project aims to tear aside perceived stereotypes, and show a community that is ethnically, economically, generationally and emotionally diverse. It rejects the limited definition of gender or sexuality as static or innate. It recognizes both as something fluid, built by each individual throughout their lifetime as they understand and consolidate their own identity.
UNTIL YOU CHANGE
In Ecuador approximately 200 facilities exist to ‘cure’ homosexual men, women and transexuals. Operations are masked under the guise of drug and alcohol rehabilitation centres. Imprisoned against their will those interned are subject to emotional and physical torture.
To raise awareness of an on-going human rights I recreated scenes form these ‘clinics’ based upon victim testimony. Being gay and from Ecuador, I chose myself as the protagonist of the images.
In a three-hour conversation, I told my parents “I’m gay.” Accompanied by my sisters, I documented the event in the experimental photography project “Unveiled.”
TODAY IS HARD
In 2020 I suffered from a mental breakdown which saw me hospitalized for several days. I was recovering from this at my parents’ home when I tested positive for Covid-19.
Once isolated in my apartment my symptoms fluctuated between anxiety, severe depression and coronavirus. It became impossible to distinguish one from the other; pressure and pain in my chest, shortness of breath, headaches, tremors.
During those days I documented my experience, creating a visual diary recounting those uneasy moments.
WOMEN IN PROTEST
In 2019 I went out with my camera to document the protests that took place in October after the ecuadorian government imposed the new economic reforms.
I gathered thirteen testimonies of the indigenous women who had joined the fight. Their faces were testimonies of struggle and resistance. Inside the massive crowd you could find their voices, their personal stories. You could feel their fear, fatigue, anger and social resistance.
MELANCHOLIA OF VIRGINS
The term ‘Hysteria’ is now recognised as a diagnosis stemming from pseudo-science, intrinsically linked to misogyny and man’s dominance. Symptoms eventually attributed to ‘Hysteria’ have been common throughout history. In ancient Greece, they were attributed to uterine movement.
n 19th century Europe, psychiatrists sought a term to describe this malady among them Uterine Suffocation, Uterine Fury, Female Asthma, and Melancholy of Virgins were considered.