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Unwritten Histories
Graciela Iturbide
Nuestra Señora de Las Iguanas, Mexico

"Through Iturbide's images, we come to understand that the power of the Catholic church could not erase the greater power of pre-Hispanic cultures, which created a country flourishing with modern technologies [radio, television, advertisements] yet cognizant and proud of its traditional and religious customs. Her photographs tell a visual story of a culture in constant transition though images of identity, sexuality, festivals, rituals, daily life, death and the role of women. At times we see the clash between urban and rural life, indigenous and modern life, as Iturbide effortlessly moves from community to community on her personal journey through her homeland.

One of her most well-known projects was with the Zapotec Indians in Juchitán, a community known for its rare matriarchal social structure. This is evident in Nuestra Señora de Las Iguanas (Our Lady of the Iguanas), in which iguanas wrap themselves around the head of a woman whose stoic stance reveals the strength and pride of Zapotec women who take on the role of goddess and healer."