Isadora Romero

From the series, Polvo de Estrellas (Stardust) ©Isadora Romero

October’s featured photographer is Isadora Romero

Isadora is an Ecuadorian photographer and videographer currently based in Quito. She received a BA in Photography from the University of Palermo, Buenos Aires (2014); Technician Diploma in Film and Video from the Institute of Visual Arts, Quito (2011); and holds a diploma in Contemporary Photography from Node Center, Berlin (2011). Today, her work focuses on identity, memory and the role of women in society, and, she is interested in developing her work in the edges of art and documentary photography.

Most recently, Isadora was invited to the 2019 Antarctic Artist in Residence on INAE. She also received an Honorable Mention at the Poy Latam 2019 contest for her Photobook, Seven Point Eight, co-produced in collaboration with Misha Vallejo. She is the co-founder of Ruda Colectiva, a Latin American women photographers collective. Her multimedia works have been projected in different countries in the Americas and Europe. She has worked with various local and international media companies and NGOs around the world such as; Le Monde, Bloomberg, Elle UK, Vice,Habitat and Greenpeace, Girl Gaze, Dove, Getty Images, among others. She has extensively exhibited in Latin America, USA and Europe.

In addition, she is an active educator and and speaker across Latin America. She is part of the #EverydayProjects and Woemen Photograph group.

Polvo de Estrellas (Stardust)

Stardust is a photographic work done between 2015 and 2017 in Mascarilla, a small town located in the Chota Valley in Ecuador. It contains images that reinterpret the intangible heritage of the Afro-Ecuadorian community of the highlands. It is a visual story that represents the everyday life of the people by means of symbols extracted from the stories narrated by the inhabitants of the town. This project speaks about the symbiosis between traditions and present mixed of contemporary influences. It is a celebration of the imaginary space of a town that dreams, just like any other.

A kid plays with water on a hot day in Mascarilla, Ecuador.Often the weather in the valley is very hot. This is why during slavery time, the indigenous people working in local cane plantations died because of overheating. They were replaced with people of African descendent called by the indigenous as “Los Mas Karillas” that means “The stronger ones” in a mix of Spanish and Kichwa languages. That is the origin of the name of the town as told from the elder people in Mascarilla. One of the problems that the Mascarilla community faced when they obtained their own lands was the water monopoly by the cane factory. Nowadays the community has managed to get this resource.
One of Mascarilla’s constructions reflects the moss trapped in the lighting cables, meanwhile inside the house another universe is seen on the curtains. Mascarilla, Carchi Province, Ecuador.
During the day, kids enjoy themselves eating a variety of fruits that their families cultivate. Farming is one of the main incomes of the community. Nowadays, the town organised itself to diversify their income: other activities include community tourism and handcrafts commercialisation, activities mainly driven by women. Mascarilla, Ecuador.
The elected beauty queen of Mascarilla poses for a portrait on the main street of the town. She was elected the night before and with this event the festivities of the town started. During the pageant contest, each participant prepared traditional afro dances, told a story about their African heritage and appeared in traditional afro clothes. This picture was taken during her first caravan as queen so there were a lot of people on the street.
Local kids of Mascarilla, show gold dust on their hands. They where playing with this golden dust and putting it in their body. Mascarilla, Ecuador.
A teenage girl of Mascarilla watches the beauty queen caravan. Each year on July, during the traditional festivities of Mascarilla, a new queen is elected to represent the community. The pageant contest includes traditional representation of the Afro-Ecuadorian community and traditional music rhythms.
Some of the people of the valley used to search for gold dust in the river. Some glitter over a rock in the Chota River in Carchi, Ecuador.
A man seats in one of Mascarilla’s bar, this is one of the places where the majority of men spend their nights. Over here they play pool and drink beer. Mascarilla, Ecuador.
A painting of Anita Lara, one of the female leaders of the community, in her house among baptism figures and the photograph of her son together with his partners in the police academy. Anita says that the drawing is a self-portrait.
She also makes clay figures that sells in fairs all around the word. This is one of her main incomes and also of the community. Mascarilla, Ecuador.
A teenager wears a cap with the symbol of the African continent inside Anita Lara’s house. Ecuador is a country where racism and social differences are marked. However, Afro-descendant communities that once were relegated and stigmatised, today are proud of their present and origins. Mascarilla, Ecuador.

To see more of Isadora’s work, here

La fotógrafa del mes de Octubre es Isadora Romero

Isadora es una fotógrafa y camarógrafa ecuatoriana que actualmente reside en Quito, Ecuador. Recibió una licenciatura en fotografía de la Universidad de Palermo, Buenos Aires (2014); Diploma Técnico en Cine y Video del Instituto de las Artes Visuales, Quito (2011); y posee un diploma en Fotografía Contemporánea del Node Center, Berlín (2011). Hoy, su trabajo se centra en la identidad, la memoria y el papel de la mujer en la sociedad, y está interesada en desarrollar su trabajo en los bordes del arte y la fotografía documental.

Más recientemente, Isadora fue invitada a la Residencia Artistica en la Antártica con INAE (2019). También recibió una Mención de Honor en el concurso Poy Latam 2019 por su Photobook, Seven Point Eight, co-producido en colaboración con Misha Vallejo. Ella es una de las cofundadoras de Ruda Colectiva, un colectivo de fotógrafas latinoamericanas. Sus obras multimedia se han proyectado en diferentes países de América y Europa. Ha trabajado con varias empresas de medios locales e internacionales y ONG, tales como; Le Monde, Bloomberg, Elle Reino Unido, Vice, Habitat y Greenpeace, Girl Gaze, Dove, Getty Images, entre otros. Ha exhibido extensamente en América Latina, Estados Unidos y Europa.

Además, es una educadora activa y oradora en toda América Latina. Ella es parte del grupo #EverydayProjects and Woemen Photograph.

Polvo de Estrellas

Polvo de Estrellas es un trabajo fotográfico realizado entre 2015 y 2016 en Mascarilla, un pequeño pueblo ubicado en el Valle del Chota en Ecuador. Contiene imágenes que re-interpretan la herencia intangible de la comunidad Afro-ecuatoriana de la sierra. Es una narración visual que representa la vida diaria de su gente a través de símbolos extraídos de las historias narradas por los habitantes de la zona. Este proyecto habla de la simbiosis entre las tradiciones con el presente mixturado con influencias contemporáneas. Es una celebración del espacio imaginario de un pueblo que sueña, como cualquier otro.

Para saber más de los trabajos de Isadora, aquí