Special Mention Short Story 2023 | Luisa Lauxen Dörr (eng)

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Special Mention Short Story Award 2023Luisa Lauxen Dörr

The Bolivian “polleras”, bulky skirts commonly associated with the indigenous women from the highlands, were for decades a symbol of uniqueness but also an object of discrimination.

Now, a new generation of women skateboarders in Cochabamba, the country’s third largest city, wears them as a piece of resistance. The voluminous attire has its origins in the 16th century, during the Spanish conquest. It was imposed on the native population, but through centuries the garment became part of the local identity.

Since it represents authenticity and stigmatization, dusting off the polleras that once belonged to aunts and grandmothers seemed the obvious choice for Dani Santiváñez, 26, a young Bolivian skater who wanted to reclaim her roots. In 2018, together with two friends, Dani created the female collective “ImillaSkate” as “a cry for inclusion”.

They don’t wear the polleras on a daily basis, but only for skating. Knee-length and paired with sneakers, as it happened in the past, the polleras adapted again and became a symbol. The Imillas, who practice to compete in local tournaments, use this outfit and their skateboards as natural vehicles to empower women and push their message of inclusion and acceptance of diversity.

Copyright photos: © Luisa Lauxen Dorr

Luisa Dörr is a Brazilian photographer, whose work is mainly focused on the feminine human condition. She uses the portrait as a vehicle to tell narratives, and explore the complexity of human nature and femininity.

Luisa’s photographs have been published in TIME magazine, National Geographic, The New York Times, PDN, GEO, Wired, among many others. She’s had exhibitions in Brazil, United States, Spain, France, Portugal, England and Russia. In 2015, Luisa was selected for LensCulture Emerging Talent. In 2018, she won POYi Documentary Project of the Year, ‘FIRSTS’ for TIME Magazine and Magenta Flash Forward Award. In 2019, she won 3rd prize for the Portrait Stories category of the World Press Photo Award.

Luisa is currently working on projects related to women and cultural traditions, as well as on assignments.


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