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Mayra Martell

Mayra Martell (b. 1979) is a documentary photographer from Ciudad Juárez, México.

She has worked primarily in areas of Latin America and Africa subjected to forced disappearance. Her largest projects in Latin America include False Positives (2009), Cerro de Petare (2007) and Identity Essay (2005-2010). False Positives, carried out in the impoverished outskirts of Bogota, documents the tragedy of young men, who were kidnapped, killed, and presented as guerrilla casualties by the Colombian army. Cerro de Petare portrays everyday life in one of Caracas biggest and most violent slums. Identity Essay is a five-year project about the disappearance of women in Ciudad Juárez, a city whose social fabric has been torn by violence.

Another project, Downtown Ciudad Juárez (2007-2010), documents the demolition of buildings in downtown of this city. Sahara Desert (2008) is a series about the lives of exiled Saharawuis in a refugee camp in Algeria.

Martell has received many distinctions and awards. In this year she was invited in the Portfolio Reviews in PhotoIreland Festival 2012 in Dublín, Ireland. She was invited for taking part in a hardback book dedicated to the most talented conteporary black and white photographers MONO Volume 1, published by Gomma Books, with Daido Moriyama, Michael Ackerman, Anders Petersen, among others. She also participated in the exhibition "Esquizofrenia Tropical", as part of PHotoEspaña Festival 2012 in Madrid, Spain, and she was selected for the Program of Artist Residencies FONCA-CONACYT in Argentina. In 2011, at the 4th International Fotobook Festival in Kassel, Germany, she won the first prize in the Reviewer Award and second prize in the Dummy Award. Also she obtained the Honorable Mention in Lens Culture International Exposure Awards in París, France. And selected portfolio to Trasatlántica PhotoEspaña, La Paz, Bolivia edition 2011.

Her work was chosen for the Border Art Biennial at the El Paso Museum of Art (2010). She was selected for the PhotoEspaña Photography Festival for four consecutive years (2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011), Manifestation Internationale d´art de Québec. She has received grants from the National Fund for Culture and the Arts (Mexico) to develop projects in Ciudad Juárez, Colombia, and Venezuela. Her work has been exhibited in Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, Spain, Colombia, Venezuela, and the United States, among other countries.

She is based in Mexico City and is currently working on a project called Ciudad Juarez, with Alfonso Morales editor.