When many think of Latin-American countries containing members of the African diaspora, countries like Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic immediately come to mind, but only a few would think of Uruguay in South America.
However, freelance photographer Mayra Da Silva is working on a project to let the world and fellow Uruguayans know, “we black folks (in Uruguay) are here!”
Mayra Da Silva who grew up in an interracial family consisting of a black father and a white mother is a freelance photographer as well as secretary of communications in a government office.
She is developing a photographic exhibition to be produced in various areas of Montevideo, the nation's capital, to reflect her country's black experience called "Afrotown-Montevideo.” This exhibition will have an inspiration in Afro-Uruguayan projects with input from several black Uruguayan organizations.
It will integrate identity and aesthetic elements to promote its own Black is Beautiful movement, and strive to break stereotypes of beauty imposed by a society that promotes only a model of Eurocentric beauty in addition to fighting the exclusion and stigmatization of people of African descent, and reducing inequality gaps.
In addition to making visible the African theme in Uruguay in its multiple expressions, such as photography, audiovisual, music, dance, and other cultural projects. Her photos will be produced in diverse neighborhood environments involving various social activists where it will be essential for the construction of their sense of belonging and breaking the culture shock with people who are not privy to black heritage.
Eventually, Mayra Da Silva will present her exhibit on an international level.