Plaza de la Soledad

Maya Goded
Mexico 2016 | 84 Min. | OmeU

In the evening, people flock to the small square with a foun­tain in the middle in La Merced, the red-light dis­trict of Mexico City. They are women between 50 and 80 years old, and although they have been earn­ing their money here for decades, you wouldn’t be able to tell they have hard jobs at first glance. They talk excit­ed­ly about beauty tips, make fun of cus­tomers, and give each other good advice. How­ev­er, if you were to watch the pro­tag­o­nists in their every­day lives, you would see that it is much more diverse than just cucum­ber masks and pedi­cures. Esther and Ange­les, for exam­ple, always show up togeth­er and have been in a pas­sion­ate love affair for 14 years, although they have had many expe­ri­ences with vio­lence. Raquel, who will be 80 soon, pro­tects her family and friends from bad influ­ences through reg­u­lar tarot read­ings and spir­i­tu­al rit­u­als. Then there is Carmen, who is 68 and still des­per­ate­ly in love with Carlos, who is pos­si­bly her pimp. Instead of dis­clos­ing voyeuris­tic details, the film leaves things open.

The pho­tog­ra­ph­er and film­mak­er Maya Goded accom­pa­nied these women for sev­er­al years. She built a rela­tion­ship of trust that can be seen in the range of expe­ri­ences, from every­day comedy and hard work, to exis­ten­tial fears and long­ings. PLAZA DE LA SOLEDAD is not only the square in the neigh­bor­hood of La Merced; it is a state of mind that inspires a deep sense of sol­i­dar­i­ty based on shared expe­ri­ences of vio­lence, the fight for sur­vival, and their long­ing for love.

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Maya Goded geb. 1967 in Mexico City, arbeit­ete als Fotografin v.a. zu Themen wie weib­lich­er Sex­u­al­ität, Pros­ti­tu­tion und Gender Vio­lence. 1994 veröf­fentlichte sie ihr erstes Pro­jekt über Afro-Mexikan­er „Tierra Negra“. Ihre Fotos und Videoin­stal­la­tio­nen wurden inter­na­tion­al aus­gestellt und mit Preisen aus­geze­ich­net. 2003 erhielt sie ein Guggen­heim-Stipendi­um. Goded pub­lizierte mehrere Bücher u.a. die Foto­serie «Plaza de la Soledad». Filme u.a. UNA REINA A SU GUSTO (2009), AUDACITY: YOUNG LEADERS FROM OAXACA (2016, web doc).