DANIELA RIVERA ANTARA
Daniela Rivera (b. 1996) is a multifaceted Peruvian artist and writer with strong interpersonal and research skills. Her studies and early exposure to nature, arts and the food industry resulted in key experiences for her transnational interests and areas of inquiry related to gender, environmentalism in relation to the mind/body.
This is a selection of portraits from a documentary series started in January and was halted due to the pandemic. In January and March, I documented Venezuelan women between the ages of 19 and ~60 who worked in Peruvian homes, restaurants, or service points. A wave of xenophobia had been growing, as in several other hispanic countries, towards Venezuelans especially towards women: "the venecas". This stereotype gave space for normalized sexist violence, especially when labelling them as prostitutes or man-stealers. At the end of 2019 there were 168 femicides, 570 tentative cases and 17,000 cases of sexual abuse. The deadliest year for women in Peru within the last decade. Considering that a Venezuelan woman is less likely to report an act of abuse or exploitation she is more likely to experience it.
58% of Venezuelan immigrants in Peru are women, 59% between the ages of 18 and 24, 68% without access to higher education, and 88% were working informally according to ACNUR and Amnesty International. I focused mainly on portraits, since it was very important for me to show images that did not feed the sensationalism or the stereotypes of precariousness and promiscuity of this migrant population.
The reason behind this project was due to my understanding as an immigrant as well as a woman. Understanding that migration is not easy regardless of what situation one comes from and that feeling unsafe when one choses to leave an already unsafe space, can turn into a deeply lonely, marginalizing and traumatic experience that should not be ignored or turned a blind eye to. I wanted to include a photo with a piece of writing by one of the women I documented as way to highlight her voice further as a collaboration between the two of us