In the biography Photographic: The Life of Graciela Iturbide, author Isabel Quintero writes: “Remember, everything for Graciela is complicit. She doesn’t work alone.”
In the photograph, we look up at Zobeida, her chin creating a shadow over her neck. We see the iguanas from all angles; just a hint of her hair peeks out from beneath their bodies. Iturbide constructs this image for us, but she allows for Zobeida’s own interiority to come through.
As a Latina, Iturbide’s artistic practice has encouraged me to pursue my own creative passions and search for answers about my own cultural history. Studying the image again at home, I remembered the women I saw in Antigua, Guatemala, who braided colorful thread through tourists’ hair in exchange for a few quetzales. As a teenager, I sat for one of the women and took photos of the town as someone passing through, not someone familiar with the area.