the exception
“The Exception”
group shot
Seven girls from Boyle Heights participating in a photo documentation of La Virgen de Guadalupe.

The Mexican national holiday honoring La Virgen de Guadalupe is celebrated on Dec. 12. This religious figure is known to many as the patroness of the Americas and the symbolic mother to Mexicans everywhere.

This year, Las Fotos Project  and  the nonprofit Girls Today Women Tomorrow  partnered up to lead a photography workshop documenting images of the Virgen throughout the neighborhood. Seven girls from Boyle Heights photographed images of the Virgen on T-shirts, bumper stickers, key chains and murals.

The girls then wrote about the significance the Virgen carries to themselves and others.

“(The project) made me think of how the community views La Virgen de Guadalupe as well as what she means to my culture, my family, and more specifically to me,” 17-year-old Elsie said. “This project gave me the chance to step back and accept that sometimes the views my culture has are different than my own.”

Here are a few of Elsie’s photos from the project:


The photo exhibit, “Nuestra Virgen de Guadalupe,” documents the girls’ findings. The exhibit will show Thursday and Sunday night from 5 to 7 p.m. at CASA 0101 Theater, 2003 E. First St. in Boyle Heights.

Prints of the girls’ work will be for sale at the events, with 100 percent of the proceeds going back to the girls’ and future photography workshops. Prints can also be purchased online through the Las Fotos Project Tumblr.

All images courtesy of Las Fotos Project.

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