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Flying Cholitas (2)Daniele Tamagni
Un mot sur l'oeuvre
The Goddesses of the Ring are extremely popular in La Paz, but don’t perform purely for the show or money. They are fighting for the emancipation of Bolivian women on a daily basis. To express themselves, they have chosen Lucha Libre, the local wrestling style, a domaine that used to be exclusively for men.
Julia and Yolanda from las diosas del ring troupe training in the El Alto neighbourhood of La Paz in 2011. To highlight their difference and represent women, the wrestlers train and fight in their traditional cholita costumes, recognisable by the distinctive skirt, the pollera, gathered at the waist and covering numerous underskirts, which pays homage to their Indian peasant roots.
Le témoignage de Daniele Tamagni
It was quite by chance that I came across a show by the Goddesses of the Ring in El Alto, the highest neighbourhood in La Paz, the Bolivian megacity built on the side of a mountain. I was there for something else completely, but being fascinated by the audience’s passion and the intensity of the fights, I stayed. I spent five weeks immersed in the life of Carmen, Julia, Dina and Yolanda, the star wrestlers of the Goddesses of the Ring troupe. They welcomed me with great kindness and immediately and totally accepted me. I was able to follow them in their daily lives, while training, and of course, during the fights. In this way, I could measure and portray their implication and the strength of their message.
Le choix de Jean-Denis
Flying Cholitas is a fantastic story, and a magnificent photography feature. I had seen it in 2011 when it won a World Press Award (sports category), the most prestigious photojournalism award. I wanted to be the first to publish it in France (it appeared in Hobo by L’Equipe n°1 in May 2012), and I’m really proud to have these treasures in the gallery.
The Cholitas are legitimate in the world of wrestling as their wrestling is serious, committed and as intense as the men’s sport. This perfectly executed wrestling move inspired the photographer for the choice of the feature’s title.