New Internationalist

Through Woman’s Eyes

Issue 279

Through women's eyes

Madre shipiba - Mother from the Shipiba indigenous people, who live in the Amazon rainforest near Pucallpa, captured by the Peruvian photographer Monica Newton.
Madre shipiba - Mother from the Shipiba indigenous people,
who live in the Amazon rainforest near Pucallpa,
captured by the Peruvian photographer Monica Newton.
'Abro mis ojos a la luz del amor
y de tus labios.'
'I open my eyes to the light of love
and of your lips.'
(Javier Heraud)

How distinctive is women’s vision of the world? A Peruvian social-photography group called TAFOS gathered together 67 images of women as seen by 43 women photographers from all over Latin America. They exhibited them at the UN World Conference on Women in Beijing last year.

Here we showcase a selection of these images. Documenting the everyday reality of women’s lives is in itself a challenge to their comparative invisibility in public life. But the women depicted here are themselves showing a quality of resistance – some through political activism, others through laughter or just a determination to carry on.

Each photographer chose a title for her photo together with a couple of lines from a Latin American poem which she felt would enhance the meaning of the picture. According to TAFOS: ‘This exhibition wishes to extend a bridge to women from all over the world, knowing that the power of the image transcends language and cultural barriers. It is an attempt to show ourselves in our differences and to unite us in our similarities: it is a communication proposal.’


Santa Rosita by Nancy Chappell.
St Rosa is not the only one with her eyes on heaven in the Peruvian capital, Lima.
'así uno piensa en Dios,
andando, cocinando, andando por ahí.'
'This is how we think of God,
walking, cooking, walking around.'
(Raul Zurita)


Liliana is locked up in Los Harnos Prison in Argentina.
Adriana Lestido
has taken us to visit her.
'...una cara nos mira
desde el fondo de un espejo.'
'. a face looks at us
from the depths of a mirror.'
(Jorge Luis Borges)


Libres - Free. When arrest is a victory.
Pro-democracy demonstrators' elation caught by Nancy Urrutia in Montevideo, Uruguay.
'Cuando se desplome
la alta torre de silencio.'
'When the high tower
of silence collapses.'


Pisando la vida - Crushing life.
These Republican Guards at work in Lima, Peru, were photographed by Rosita Villafuerte.
The trampled placard reads 'A flower without water withers. A child without a house cannot sustain life.'
'...suda, mata
y luego canta, almuerza
se abotona.'
'.sweats, kills,
and then sings, eats,
and buttons up.'
(Cesar Vallejo)


Animas anonimas - Nameless souls.
A creation of the Ecuadorian photographer Lucia Chiriboga.
'Y pregunto, pregunto por
mi patria y mi niñez.'
'And I ask, I ask for my country
and my childhood.'
(Washington Delgado)

These pictures were supplied by Panos Pictures, who represent TAFOS in Britain.

[image, unknown]
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