Las Chicas de Iquitos

Iquitos is humid vibrant jungle city in the north east of Peru.  It is now the epicentre for ayahuasca tourism and jungle adventures in the upper Amazonian basin.  The local culture is also generally tolerant towards gender identity and there is wide spread acceptance of persons. The transsexuals in this series were invited to take part and encouraged to bring with them clothing or objects that they felt attractive wearing and which reflect their true sexuality. The photographs took place in their natural environment, showing the spaces they live in. Overall, it is interesting that the general culture embodies acceptance of diversity given the remote location of this community. At the same time, it is ironic perhaps that the manner in which the models pose and expose themselves, the kind of dresses or underwear they have chosen is a television / western based model. Perhaps also an adopted masquerade of the feminine, or distorted idea of beauty, gender or sexual freedom. Finally perhaps another reflection of the western world’s influence everywhere in the world, even in the Amazonian jungle.  The project also presents ambiguity to the viewer and is challenging the idea of gender and sexuality stereotypes as not all of the participants are actually biological men.