By MARK BROWN
Margarita Teichroeb meets the camera's gaze. Photo © Jordi Ruiz Cirera/National Portrait Gallery®. See also Lisa Wiltse's Mennonites of Manitoba (81 images)
SANTA CRUZ, Bolivia .— The London-based Spanish photographer Jordi Ruiz Cirera won the £12,000 Taylor Wessing photographic portrait prize for his image of a 26-year-old Bolivian woman called Margarita Teichroeb.
Her shyness stems from the fact she is a Mennonite. The religious community generally forbids images, with some members believing photographs are a form of graven image. "Her awkward expression says a lot about the tradition, isolation and lifestyle of this community," said Ruiz Cirera.
More than 50,000 Mennonites live in Bolivia, descendants of Christian Anabaptists who left Germany in the 16th century. They live humble, reclusive lives, without cars or electricity, and speak Plautdietsch, or Mennonite Low German.
Source: THE GUARDIAN®