The Costa Chica region in Guerrero is home to Mexicans descended from African slaves that identify themselves as being â€œblackâ€. Outside this region, they are little-known and they are currently fighting to be officially recognized by the Mexican State. It is also a place rooted in traditional beliefs that include appearances of trolls, the devil and spirit animals. The legend tells that when a baby is born, a member of the family brings the child to a crossroads where lots of wild animals pass by. The first creature to approach the child will be the child's spirit animal, when the animal is hurt, wounded or dies, the person is too. There are healers called Curanderos del tono that will cure â€œanimalâ€-related illnesses, since conventional medicine will not work in these cases. I went to visit the Costa Chica in an attempt to capture what is remaining of this Afromexican tradition
Annick Donkers is a documentary photographer from Antwerp, Belgium. After obtaining a Masters degree in Psychology, she decided to specialize in photography. She has received a grant from the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2008 and was selected to participate in the 2008Â Seminar on Contemporary PhotographyÂ at the Centro de la Imagen in Mexico City. She was one of the winners of theÂ Survival International Competition (2015), won an award at the San JosÃ© Photo Festival in Uruguay, an award at the Sony Awards 2016Â in UK, at the MIFA awards in Russia (2016) and has been selected at Latin American Photography vol.5. She currently lives and works as a freelance photographer in Mexico City.