The Covid-19 pandemic has put into perspective that domestic life is a risky scenario for thousands of Mexican women. Five sisters behind the Mujeres de la Tierra (Women of the Land) collective have experienced this violence in their homes and know that if a woman does not have economic autonomy, she will be more limited in separating from her abuser.

They cultivate ways of living without violence and with greater freedom for themselves and other women. This is the seed that germinated in the creation of this collective located in Milpa Alta, a rural area of Mexico City. How to create these new ways of being? Fighting with resistance to emancipate themselves, they have reappropriated their lives from their own territory, based on the “sisterhood community”. They sow their own corn with which they prepare typical Mexican products in their small workshop that they have built stone by stone. They distribute tamales, tlacoyos and gorditas via social networks, thanks to which they can gain economic independence. Facing the macho violence that exists in their environment, they make their milpa, their hill, their land grow: “They wanted to uproot us, but our roots are well planted”.

Mahé Elipe is a French photographer based in Mexico City, part of the Women Photograph collective. Her documentary work focuses on the human condition with a particular interest in the place of women in society. She had the opportunity to complete her training, thanks to the Nikon-Bayeux security in conflict zone Workshop in 2018, as well as the Nikon-NOOR Academy Masterclass in Budapest the same year. She is also one of the winners of Reuters Photojournalists Grants 2019 and has been selected to attend The Eddie Adams Workshop XXXIII in October 2020. Mahé was recently awarded a grant from the German media outlet Deutsh Well as well as the COVID-19 Emergency fund for journalist from the National Geographic Society. The photographer collaborates with various media such as Le Monde, Libération, Médiapart, Al Jazeera, The Guardian, Washington post and Reuters.

Mahé Elipe’s photographs were presented during the 21st edition of Fotofestiwal. More information: