‘Maysa’ is a project about race and gender in Brazil. The artist met Maysa during the final contest of ‘Young Miss Brazil’, in April 2014. That was the day she discovered that the contest had 2 categories: one for black and another for white beauties. ‘Young Miss Brazil’ and ‘Young Miss Brazil Black Beauty,’ which was meant to be encouraging black girls to participate in the contest. Racism is unfortunately very common in Brazil, although approximately 40% of the population is black. The vast majority lives in a marginal perpetual status. Months later, Maysa contacted the artist for a portfolio photo shoot. She wanted to take her chances at the 2015 contest. What was supposed to be a simple gift, became a work in progress. They kept in touch for months, and developed a strong friendship. One that was helping the artist to be aware of the though reality in her country; racism, sexism, social exclusion, and struggle to survive. In 2015, Maysa won the title ‘Young Miss Brazil Black Beauty’. Louisa keep seeing Maysa and her family, fighting to get a comfort place and social recognition. What is more exciting for the artist is seeing the coming of age of a wonderful human being that represents a lot of values, which her country was slowly losing. The idea of this long-term project is to continue to follow Maysa and her dreams and document what it means to be a black person in a society that glorifies white beauty.
Luisa Dörr (1988) was born in Lajeado, Brazil. As a teenager, she wanted to be a designer but discovered photography around the age of 22. She studied photography at the Lutheran University of Brazil in Canoas - RS. Dörr is a frequent contributor to the Folha de Sao Paulo. Dörr's photographs have been published in TIME, CNN, PDN, Wired, New Yorker, Lens Culture, Marie Claire, L'oeil de la Photographie, Le Figaro, Feature Shoot, El Pais, Vice, among many others. Her photographic work focuses on the genre of portraiture and seeks to address its contemporary aspects. She had solo and group exhibitions in Brazil, United States, Spain, France, Portugal, England and Russia. In 2015, Luisa was selected as the ‘LensCulture Emerging Talent ‘and one of the ‘PDN Emerging Photographers’. In 2016, she was selected for the ‘World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass’. In 2017, she was named as one of 34 female photojournalists to follow, by the TIME magazine . Currently, she is represented by VII Photo Agency as part of the Mentor Program. She is based in Sao Paulo, Brazil.