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Bodies that Do Not Matter: Marginality in Maya Goded's Photographs of Sex Workers in Mexico City

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Artículo de revistaGasiorowski, Dominika. Bodies that Do Not Matter: Marginality in Maya Goded's Photographs of Sex Workers in Mexico CityIn  Visual Culture and Violence in Contemporary Mexico Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies, 2015 vol. 24 no. 4 p. 501-515. Palabras claves:
Cine, Fotografía | Mujer y Estudios de Género
Mexican photography, Maya Goded, marginality, prostitution, sex workers, representation, Judith Butler, documentary ethics


Maya Goded is one of the most renowned contemporary Mexican photographers. This paper focuses on an analysis of a selection of photographs from her album entitled Plaza de la soledad (2006), which contains images of prostitutes working in the oldest red-light-district of Mexico City. After briefly situating Goded in the context of contemporary Mexican visual culture and its relationship with representing prostitution, the focus will shift to the ethical tensions involved in socially engaged visual production using Plaza de la soledad as an example. Drawing on Judith Butler's theories in Bodies That Matter (1993) Goded's photographs will be examined as cultural texts challenging gendered stereotypes in Mexico and visually resisting reductive binaries. They will also be studied as simultaneously forging a cultural space for otherwise unrepresented or underrepresented people and potentially fetishising and commercialising the suffering of others. To that end, recent theoretical debates about ethical ambiguities in documentary photography will be considered. Close analysis of a selection of photographs from the album will exemplify different representations of women within the frames of their internal and external displacements while examining the images' potential for empowerment as well the risks of exploitation.

Ceisal Redial © REDIAL & CEISAL. Responsabilidad editorial: Araceli García Martín - AECID (Madrid, España),
Jussi Pakkasvirta - Ceisal (Helsinki, Finlandia).
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