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FANESCA by Lucho Davila

Updated: Jul 27, 2022

Fanesca is a body of work reflecting on how foreign influences alter identity in Latin America nowadays. In this autoethnographic exploration, Dávila digs into his Spanish and Ecuadorian heritage reflecting through this project on cultural identity within fashion trends, as well as the nostalgia of a society. It has been named Fanesca, after a traditional dish that mixes Spanish religious beliefs with Indigenous tradition in Ecuador and it's prepared only during Easter.

The body of work analyses how styling the self affects identity in Ecuadorian society. Shot in London with hand-made masks by Lucho Dávila, Fanesca interprets Ecuadorian traditional characters that appeared after the colonial period, in a fashion context, by a mixed heritage mestizo, creating a series of mixed media self-portraits with syncretism as its concept. Portraying the syncretism the Spanish colony left as a heritage in Latin American culture, Dávila interprets five traditional characters under his vision through self-portraiture. These interpretations show how tradition has been influenced by external trends from around the world. It's important to understand the syncretism within each character to see how culture and tradition change with external influences.

Fanesca is intended to reach European audiences and Latin American audiences presenting images built on syncretism as a concept and as an outcome of Latin American history after the Spanish colonisation.

With this body of work, Dávila continues his self-exploration along with his previous projects starting a conversation on a minority that sometimes seems invisible to European societies, yet plays an important role in its history. Fanesca has been part of Dávila's MA Fashion Photography project at UAL and it ended up being part of a Showcase exhibition, part of the London FW SS22 at the Victoria House Basement.

Sacha Runa (green mask), from post-colonial folklore, this character name means "man of the jungle" in Quichua.

Diablo Huma (red mask), is a representation of the devil that appeared after the Spanish colony imported religion into Ecuador.

Curiquingue (blue mask), the representation of a bird is mixed with Spanish religion in Ecuador, Curiquingue is a celebration of pure syncretism in today's culture between indigenous beliefs and imported religious beliefs.

Mama Negra (black and yellow mask), is a traditional character that honours the Virgin of Volcanoes and gives way to its mysterious protagonist, a man dressed as a woman, and his face painted black. According to the Ecuadorian Ministry of Tourism, the Mama Negra also celebrates the liberation of the Afro-Ecuadorian community.

Capariche (golden-transparent mask), was the street sweeper during the Spanish colonial period in Ecuador. A mestizo wearing a traditional poncho cleaning streets created by the colony.


Photography: Lucho Davila / / @iamtrece

Photography and Retouching Assistant: Julia Alexandra S. / / @julialexandra6

Styling: Andrew Christian / @itsandrewchristian


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