07 October 2019

Coming of Age Symbolism in Rural Bolivia​

07 October 2019 - Written by PhMuseum

In a series of colourful and mystical portraits, Andrés Yépez draws upon colonial influences to capture the hopes and fears of young people living in the La Chiquitanía region of Bolivia.

Oomo means Burn in the native language of La Chiquitanía, Bolivia. An adolescent's transition is crossed by elements - internal and external - that build their identity. Through portraiture, this project uses light and colour as a bridge that creates an analogy of the identity that is woven between young people of a region with a great colonial beta, but who also experience their own sensations from this stage of life where they discover themselves and also recognise the other.

To feel through this reddish light - so characteristic of this province - the elements that generate a sense of belonging and the new sensations that are a reflection of an identity under construction, where the new, the modern, but also begin to be housed. It converges with that trace of the colony, still so present, in the towns of the region.

Understand the components of a portrait, either human or symbolic ones, as the pieces of an encounter between light, color and form to read portions of a universe that represents the interweaving of meanings that give new ones to chiquitanian adolescents.

Words and Pictures by .


Andrés Yépez is an Ecuadorian photographer and anthropologist. Through his work, he develops works related to issues surrounding identity, memory and relations between humans and their environment. Find him on PHmuseum and Instagram.


This feature is part of Story of the Week, a selection of relevant projects from our community handpicked by the PHmuseum curators.

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Reading time

3 minutes