Portrait story about wrestlers from Bolivia, photographed outside the ring in their own fancy dress characters on the streets of El Alto. El Alto, Bolivia / November 2013
Wrestling spread in Bolivia at the end of the sixties when the “lucha libre” mexican films of ‘El Santo’, ‘Blue Demon’ or ‘Huracán Ramírez’ became very popular. Catchascan, a variation from the english “Catch-as-catch-can” is the bolivian way to refer to wrestling, quite popular in the country, especially in El Alto, where there is an established tradition of wrestlers, both males and females. El Alto, dormitory town on top of La Paz (4,000 mt. above sea level) with one million inhabitants mostly Aymara, is today one of Bolivia’s largest and fastest-growing urban centers. The male wrestlers of El Alto perform every sunday fighting on the ring between them or with the more famous “cholitas” (female wrestlers dressed in traditional Aymara costume). The rest of the week they come back to their routine, their life and work, their daily fight. Photographed in their own fancy dress outside the ring, the character transcends the realm of wrestling and turns into a superhero of everyday life.