Artist Blog

Every week an artist whose single image was published by Der Greif is given a platform in which to blog about contemporary photography.

Jornaleras (Landworkers)

May 21, 2020 - Macarena Costan

The photograph above was the main inspiration for me to start this body of work. The photograph was found along with other negatives in my family house. They were captured around the 1920s and 1930s by my great grandmother’s brother. He was not a professional, he usually turned his camera to those around him, both friends, relations, staff, and hired hands. I was particularly struck by the presence of strong portraits of women.


Caliza raises themes of feminism, female identity and power due my concerns with the place and role of women in society. One of the main purposes was to find ways to highlight women and their strengths through my photographs; to represent women in a slightly different way to which we usually see them. This work is based, among other things, on a response of how women have been represented in history and in the present-day; showing that after 100 years, we still need to make a strong statement about women’s place in society.


I wanted to know more about the situation of women who worked on the land. I wished to understand how they fought for their rights while simultaneously working to survive. It is hard to find information about their lives because they did not have access to the arts to express their feelings or their history. It is important for me to express how these women had to deal with the patriarchal world of the time and give visibility to the importance of rural women as political and historical subjects.


I revisit the past through the archives, it helps me reflect on the present, to challenge what we think we remember, or what was being told, and how it has influenced the present.