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This picture of Luz holding the hand of Raul attempts to replicate the woman-as-nurturer script, but this time, she is represented as a source of support for her male partner. The picture borrows from the woman-and-child frame used by humanitarian organizations and includes the male figure as the ‘assumed’ dominant protagonist in conditions of forced migration.

Such a framework prevents viewers from recognizing the incredible agency on the part of women like Luz, who organized women and men in banning the selling of alcohol in La Gloria. High levels of alcohol consumption by men has resulted in increased the rate of spousal and child abuse. This resulted in a large contingent of women in seeking Luz for help in approaching the all-male leaders of La Gloria from banning the sale of alcohol.

The male-only leaders were opposed to the ban, and reprimanded Raul for letting his wife ‘manipulate’ him and for not ‘controlling’ her. Raul recognized how women can exercise their human rights in making demands for improved living conditions, and ignored the intimidation by other males for his supporting his wife’s campaign. Luz and Raul overcame death threats and continue to be active members of La Gloria, and are one of the few people without family members in the United States.


Esta foto de Luz agarrando la mano de Raúl intenta repetir el papel de la mujer como criadora, pero esta vez ella está representada como un medio de apoyo a su pareja masculina. La foto adopta el plano visual de mujer-y-criatura predominantemente usada por organizaciones humanitarias e incluye la figura masculina como el supuesto protagonista dominante en las condiciones de migraciones forzadas.

Tal estructura previene al público de reconocer la increíble organización en la parte de la mujer como Luz, quien organiza a las mujeres y hombres en la prohibición de venta de alcohol en la Gloria. Los altos niveles de consumo de alcohol de los hombres han resultado en incremento del nivel de abuso en menores y parejas. Esto da como resultado una larga contingencia de mujeres que buscan a Luz por ayuda para acercarse a todos los hombres, líderes de la Gloria, para prevenir la venta de alcohol.


All photographs © Manuel Gil 2008