BEINECKE LIBRARY / YALE / COLLECTION
MARIA DANIEL BALCAZAR
Fish Vending Family; Mysore, India
Habana, City of Dreams; La Habana, Cuba
Saints Day in a Clandestine Cemetery; La Paz, Bolivia
Body Painting and Play; Omo Valley, Ethiopia
do Cantagalo on a Sunday Morning; Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
Woman in the Cradle of Humanity; Omo Valley, Ethiopia
of Oxala Ceremony, Candomble Ritual; Rio de Janeiro, Braziil
Worship, Yemanjá Ritual; Niteroi, Brasiil
for the "Virgen del Socavon”, Andean Carnival; Oruro, Bolivia
of the Dead; Oaxaca, Mexico
I was fortunate to have lived in several countries with my parents,
and to have maintained a strong bond to the culture, people and
language of our home country, Bolivia, and my country of birth,
the U.S.. Since my early childhood, when my color pencils were my
main companions, art was in my mind and in my heart. I immersed
myself in art studies since I was in my early teens at Escuela de
Bellas Artes in La Paz, Bolivia. Upon graduating from high school
in Guyana, I attended the Gerlersborgskolan Art School in Stockholm,
After living in the country side in Drenje and studying serbo-croatian
at the University of Zagreb, I returned to Bolivia. This formal
education in fine arts and languages taught me to see and feel and
value more deeply diversity and similarities in the world; the subtle
differences in its forms and colors; and the richness of each culture,
its values, history and literature. Later, while raising my three
children, and building upon my experience in organizing artistic
activities in a center for popular culture and founding an art school
in the city of El Alto, I obtained in La Paz, Bolivia, a Licenciatura
at UNIVALLE and did graduate studies at the CEBEM-Universidad Complutense
de Madrid program in journalism and social communication. This enriched
and deepened my understanding of the power of non-verbal communication
and of symbolism to connect, but also to divide, people. Upon moving
to the Washington DC metropolitan area, I embarked upon a career
in photography, as a natural way to combine my interests and abilities,
and completed a professional photography degree at the Center for
the Digital Imaging Arts, Boston University program.
Through photography I combine my previous studies and work in fine
arts, languages, journalism and social communications. The exposure
I have had to cultural and social diversity around the world has
deepened my understanding and appreciation for the uniqueness, and
yet the universality, of persons, their traditions, circumstances
and aspirations. In them I find magic in the reality of our everyday
life, and in unexpected similarities in our evident differences.
I work with both color and black & white photography. I rely
mostly on a handheld camera and ambient light, given the nature
of my work. I approach images from a fine-art perspective –not
with the intent to downplay the force of reality, but with a view
to add to its value by bringing to the surface the inner strength
of the subjective. I like testing the comfort zones of viewers while
touching their sense of empathy.
My projects have centered on ancient and syncretistic cultural traditions
in India, Ethiopia, Brasil, Mexico and Bolivia. Through my projects
I witness religious rituals, ceremonies and festivities. I look
for temples, homes and places of work. With photoessays and stand
alone pictures I have sought to tell stories about daily life in
Brazilian favelas and in the streets of urban affluence in Europe
and North America. I enjoy photographing extraordinary customs such
as the Oruro Carnival in the mining region of the Bolivian highlands
and the fusion of legacies from the Jesuit Missions and Guarani
people in its lowlands.
My assignments have included editorial photography and documentary
photography of the work of the Schools of Forgiveness and Reconciliation
with survivors of violence in Colombia, of the Institute for Multitrack
Diplomacy with Tibetan refugees in Southern India, and of the Arco
Iris Foundation with communities of homeless children in Bolivia.
My work has been exhibited in Stockholm, Sweden; Washington, DC,
USA; and La Paz, Bolivia. My last exhibition “Paradigmas Continuos”
was shown in Bolivia, in November 2014 at the Museum San Francisco
in La Paz, and will be shown at the Portales Palace in Cochabamba
and at the House of Liberty Museum in Sucre, on September and October
am currently working on a new exhibition on ancient rituals and
portraits to be held on April 2016 at Centro de la Cultura Plurinacional,
Santa Cruz, Bolivia, and on my first book, based on a four-year
project centered on the Bolivian Carnaval that will be presented
together with an exposition in February 2017. Both displays are
programed to travel to other countries in South America and Europe.
I am a Charter Member of Women in Photography International (WIPI),
and a member of the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP),
the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA), and of Women
Photojournalists of Washington (WPOW).
UPDATE - MAY 2015 - APRIL 2017
In 2015 I was selected by "Women Photojournalists of Washington
- WPOW " to participate in an exhibition that traveled through
several cities in the USA.
June - July 2015, my work focused on Andean baroque art was
exhibited in "Mestizajes: Recombinaciones”, at the Art
Gallery in the Catholic University San Pablo (UCSP) in Arequipa,
May - June 2016, my individual exhibit "Mantos de Vida”,
portraits in diverse cultures in several continents, was shown at
the Gallery Manzana 1 in Santa Cruz, Bolivia.
From November 2016 to January 2017, my work was shown at the National
Geographic Museum as part of an ASMP collective exhibition.
In April 2017, I finished my project about the Afro-Brazilian heritage,
and I am currently working to exhibit it in Brazil. I am working
on a book with the support of David Alan Harvey and Burn Magazine’s,
as well as continuing my preparation of other books.
Documentary & Fine Art Photography
for all images remains the property of exhibited photographer, and
promotional use for Women In Photography International. All inquiries
regarding use of and purchasing image use rights must be directed
to the photographer.
GALLERY & BIO created 4/14/2015 - 5/1/2015
- Photographer response - MAY 2015 - APRIL 2017
FINAL: May 2017 website content 1999-2017
womeninphotography.org file transfer to the Beinecke.
All organization files, computer, external hard drive, printed materials,
DVDs, books, competitions files and onsite installation art