Lisa Wiltse

“Elena and Abraham Ball”

From the series ‘Mennonites of Manitoba, Bolivia’


Manitoba is located about 152 kilometers northeast of the city of Santa Cruz with a population of about 3,000. Horse-drawn buggies, farmhouses with manicured lawns and fields planted to the horizon with soybeans and sorghum. Mennonites have tended to lead quiet, dedicated, religiously inspired lives. They are known for their espousal of non-violence. Their European features and distinctive clothes separate them from other Bolivians. The Mennonites settled in eastern Bolivia’s farmlands more than 50 years ago. They live simply, dress plainly and refuse to use many modern conveniences. I aim to produce photo essays that are intimate yet strong in narrative and gives a voice to those living in marginalized communities. My focus has been primarily on the lives of women and children who have never had the opportunity to live in the way to which they are entitled. My intention is not to only shed light on their struggle, but present the full spectrum of their experiences and capture deeper, truer visual references that are distinct and personal.

Selected by Anne Lyden, International Photography Curator at the National Galleries of Scotland.