Mayra Martell wins the First Ankaria Photo Prize

A project that reflects the lifestyle of women linked to drug cartels

The documentary photographer Mayra Martell (Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, 1979) is the winner of the first edition of the International Award “Ankaria Photo”. The winning project includes the work carried out by Mayra Martell since 2017 around the Mexican region of Sinaloa and the world of drug trafficking, which generates around it “lifestyles, values, expressions, music and mythologies that are erected in an aspirational model for many people in that region”.

What began as an investigation into the “buchonas” (women linked to the world of drug trafficking) based on the monitoring of their profiles on Instagram, later became a field work carried out in the Sinaloan city of Culiacán and taking these very same women as models.

Martell projects through her work her fascination for the lifestyle of these women, their multiple surgical interventions with aesthetic purposes and their way of dressing, in which they express an extraordinary predilection for luxury brands. All this constitutes an investigation on beauty as an element of power and the selfie as a tool of representation. From her experience during the realization of this project, Martell says she experienced “the swing of terror as a duality of beauty”.

Mayra Martell has developed her documentary work mainly in Latin American regions on the subject of forced disappearance. Her work has been exhibited in Spain, Germany, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, France, Colombia, Guatemala, Venezuela and the United States, Brazil among other countries.




Jon Gorospe’s urban landscape

Regarding Jon Gorospe’s project, it involves an immersion in the web to capture and re- photograph one hundred views of the urban landscape of the Basque Country, taken from online maps and street maps and made by users on digital platforms. From the complete body of images, Gorospe draws a first conclusion: “the constant homogenization of built places, their interchangeability and depersonalization”, although he still finds glimpses of hope “in certain visible signs that served to build an identity like the Basque one”.


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