A photo exhibition that highlights the experiences of diasporic Guatemalan Maya women in Southern California opens Saturday at Las Fotos Project in Lincoln Heights.

“Maya Womxn in LA” is the culmination of a collaboration between the community-based nonprofit organization that inspires teenage girls through photography, mentorship, and self-expression and Guatemalan scholar Floridalma Boj Lopez.

Over the span of 12 weeks, six Guatemalan teen girls, met to learn about the history of Guatemala, explore their personal identity, and make portraits of Maya women ranging in age from four to 96.

The “collaborative show challenges public perception by empowering Guatemalan and Maya teenage girls to document their own stories and the stories of their communities,” according to a press release.

“I always felt there was a missing connection between my grandmother and I, and this project helped me understand more about us,” said 17-year-old participant Emaly Escobar. “Now I go home after each class excited to learn more from her life back in Guatemala and connect them to what I have learned…”

According to the release, the subject matter “presented challenges [to] the idea that Maya womxn should remain passive objects in the background and on the margins. Students instead brought them to the center to show their complex and dynamic realities. Each piece serves as a testament to the enduring legacy and presence of Maya womxn.”

The exhibit includes over 30 photographs of Maya and Guatemalan-identifying young women and girls in Los Angeles, interactive diaspora mapping activity, audio interviews of oral histories. It will be on view Mondays from 5-8 pm through June 9th.

The show opens with a reception on Saturday, May 12, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Las Fotos Project’s gallery at 2658 Pasadena Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90031.

Photo above by Jasleen Reyes/Las Fotos Project

Post was edited on May 11 to correct name of exhibit.

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Boyle Heights Beat

Boyle Heights Beat is a bilingual community newspaper produced by its youth "por y para la comunidad". The newspaper and its sister website serve an immigrant neighborhood in East Los Angeles of just under...

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