Designed by Ramon Pez and previously winner of the LUMA Rencontres Book Dummy Award.

Maya Art's work explores themes of femininity, religious syncretism and cultural diversity. In 2017, she spent a year in the Afro-Mexican village of Costa Chica. Oaxaca, in the home of Juliana, a lawyer and her teenage daughter, Veronica. It was Juliana who introduced her to the women of the community - healers, midwives, widows, and the mothers - some single, some with several children. They live relatively separately from the men due to a local history of violence yet the life of community revolves around them.

The village is steeped in magic, hidden energies and secrets. Traditional medicine and healing and healing techniques such as espanto (soul cleansing) or empacho (healing) abound.

The work explores three key themes - the anthropology of Afro-Mexican villages, the coming together of Catholic and African spirituality and the place of women in society. For Maya it is also a form of autobiography in which her own multicultural background is reflected and she chose mixed media collage and painting on photographs to reflect her experiences of the village.

This book is the result of a maquette made during a workshop directed by Ana Casas and Ramon Pez at Hydra, an art gallery and art gallery and publishing house based in Mexico City. The project received the Dummy Book Award at the Rencontres d'Arles 2022.

Born in 1983 in Lodz (Poland), Maya Art grew up in Italy. A graduate in Photography and Video from the Academy of Fine Arts of Venice and IED San Luis (Argentine) she previously worked in London, before moving to Mexico City in 2015 where she now lives. She regularly travels throughout South America and has undertaken several residencies and projects in Mexico, the Peruvian Amazon and in Colombia.

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