Xiximai

2021

Xiximai, the goddess of famine, visits the houses of the Ch'orti 'Mayan people every year on the first of June. Families wait for her with food otherwise, she will leave them in poverty and the corn reserves will dwindle.

For the Mayans, the indigenous people of Guatemala, corn is more than a food product. It is a sacred element within their culture. Maiz [corn] literally means, ´that which sustains life.´ According to Mayan mythology, man was created out of corn, and growing it was a sacred duty. Today, the Mayans who are the guardians of this culture, suffer enormous crop loss due to the effects of climate change. Consequently, one out of every two Guatemalan children suffers from chronic malnutrition, the highest rate in Latin America.

In this series, I want to show the shed light on the plight of mothers who have lost children due to food scarcity and also children suffering from chronic malnutrition. The portraits are combined with ears of corn, damaged by the El Niño climate phenomenon.