In recent years, Bolivia has changed from being a rural country to an urban one, due to the migration of indigenous people to the cities. Migrants have always occupied the bottom of the social scale, who in order to be socially accepted, had to remove all traditional customs from their native pasts. However, over this past decade, urbanized “indios” have vindicated their social situation up to place the “chola bourgeoisie” as the new elite of the region. Through their most important celebration, the Fiesta del Preste, they foresee an opportunity to reaffirm their rural roots while literally and openly showing their new urban success.
Manuel Seoane is a Bolivian documentary photographer working for a small local newspaper that covers migrant communities. In 2017, he was shortlisted for the Lucie Foundation Scholarship for emerging photographers, was a finalist for the IILA-Fotografía award (FOTOGRAFIA – Festival Internazionale di Roma), and received a nominee award at the Photography Grant contest. This year, he was selected as a mentee for Native and The Everyday Projects Mentorship Program.