Maysa is a project about race and gender in Brazil. I meet Maysa during the final contest for “Young Miss Brazil”, in April 2014, she was there checkin out. This day I discovered that this contest have two categories, one for black another for white women. Young Miss Brazil and Young Miss Brazil Black Beauty created to encourage black girls to participate. Racism is, unfortunately, very common, although approximately 40% of Brazilians are black in color. The vast majority live in a marginal perpetual status. Months later Maysa contacted me for a photo shooting for her personal portfolio, she wanted to give a try to the 2015 contest. What was supposed to be a simple gift, became a work in progress. We remained in contact and each month we developed a strong friendship. One that is helping me to be aware of a tough reality of my country; racism, sexism, social exclusion, and struggle to survive. In 2015 Maysa won the title Young Miss Brazil Black Beauty. 

I’m seeing Maysa and her family, fighting to get a comfortable place, and social recognition. And what is more exciting, seeing the coming of age of a wonderful human being that represents a lot of values that my country is slowly losing.  The idea of my long term project is to continue to follow Maysa and her dreams and document how is to be a black in this so society that glorifies the white beauty -Luisa Dorr

 

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