The name Uayma means “no water here” in Yucatecan Mayan and is a town of about 3000 people situated 15min north-west of Valladolid in the state of Yucatan. In precolonial times it used to be a important Mayan center and during colonial days was a major stop on the El Camino Real route between Merida and Valladolid.
When one talks about Uayma today it is usually about the colourful ex-convent and Church of Santo Domingo de Guzman. It was built in the seventeenth century by the Spanish to force their culture on the Yucatan peninsula. They used stones of nearby Mayan temples in its construction, a common practice at the time. The church was destroyed during the Caste War, rebuilt in the 19th century, and renovated in 2005 to its present state.
The story of the Santo Domingo Church is very much the story of Mexico. In Mexican identity ancient indigenous roots, European religion and present global culture combine. The Street-Portraits Project seeks to make this mixture visible by documenting our appearance.
The Uayma portraits are part of the long term project “Mexicanidad”, an exploration of what it means to be Mexican. In this series the portraits form this quiet and quintessential Youcatecan town stand alongside the portraits of first and second generation Mexicans in Chicago, and the US-Mexican border, “Rockeros” in Mexico City, and Lacandons in the jungle of Chiapas.