In contrast to the Catholic images, those inspired by Andean folklore show dignified characters. Proud women who challenge the viewer and claim their space in memory and history. Both groups of images constructed the multifaceted Bolivian culture and this intertwining of imposed religious ideals and ancient pagan expressions is still evident.

Dialogue with her sitters was fundamental for Marisol Mendez. When someone portrays another person, a tension is created between the observer and the portrayed. The person in front of the camera can feel vulnerable. For Marisol Mendez this situation has to be seen as a collaborative process, in which the photographer has to be clear about her vision of her project and create a safe environment for the sitter.

Time for dialogue was especially important when working with womxn from backgrounds that were different or foreign to mine. I think that it's no secret that great portraits are usually the ones where you have time to get to know the person so that the final image is not only a reflection of the photographer but, hopefully, a welding of both worlds.

-Marisol Mendez