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Ivan Kashinsky May 20, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Bolivia.

Lucha Libre, El Alto, Bolivia 2007

Ivan Kashinsky (b. 1977, USA) is a freelance photographer based in Quito, Ecuador. His work has been published in National Geographic, Time, Smithsonian, The New York Times, and Geo, among others. Ivan has traveled from El Alto Bolivia, documenting Lucha Libre for National Geographic to the Bogota Savannah, where he explored the mammoth flower industry for the Smithsonian. Kashinsky’s photography has been recognized in several photo contests and has been exhibited in New York, London and Quito. In 2009 Kashinsky completed an epic journey from the Equator to Tierra del Fuego, the southern tip of South America. The trip culminated in the book Historias Mínimas, published by Dinediciones, and an exhibition at the Centro Cultural Metropolitano in Quito Ecuador.”

About the Photograph:

“Documenting the Cholitas, the Bolivian female wrestlers, was no easy task. I went into the assignment confident and pumped. I had spent years documenting the indigenous fiestas in the Ecuadorian Andes and figured that covering Lucha Libre in Bolivia would be a similar type of challenge. Not. It was incredibly difficult to gain access and slip into the daily lives of the Cholitas. Phone calls weren’t returned. The wrestlers ditched me on the chaotic border between Peru and Bolivia. There were days I spent in my hotel room just waiting for them to get back to me. Slowly I worked my way in. I visited the women in their homes without shooting a single frame. I gained their trust. It was only then that I could finally work freely and capture the kind of images I needed. When I left, we were friends, and I was finally accepted into the bizarre world of Bolivian Lucha Libre.”