5 digital inkjet prints, 24" x 24" each
They Are Not Mine Series, Pérez Bravo superimposes pictures of other people over her own image. These early-twentieth-century photographs depict individuals convicted of crimes that were often related to Afro-Caribbean religious practices, and all of the people in the photos are black. According to Juan Antonio Molina, a world-renowned specialist on contemporary photography, “By placing the photos of these blacks over her own image, Marta María has experimented with a fusion of different identities, which is also a fusion of the multiple marginalities of these subjects—dead, criminal, practitioners of Afro-Cuban religions, and black.”
In Marta María Pérez Bravo studied at the Instituto Superior de Arte and later at the Academia de Artes Plásticas “San Alejandro,” both in Havana, and is best known for her small format black and white photography. Central to Pérez Bravo’s photographs are the beliefs of Santería, an Afro-Caribbean religion that combines the Yoruba religion (brought to the Caribbean by slaves imported to work on sugar plantations) with Roman Catholic and Native Indian traditions. Santería teaches that spiritual power exists in all things, even everyday objects. Thus, Bravo seeks to convey through her photography the divine nature of all things—from familiar objects like rope and branches to her own body.