Grand Prize Winner

Henrietta Conrad

Afro-brazilian woman

By Henrietta Conrad, Class of 2016 at Carnegie Mellon University


Where Photo was Taken: Salvador, Brazil
She stood elegantly in a doorway: a breathtaking emblem of the blended Afro-Brazilian culture in Salvador, Brazil. Salvador is a city bursting with life, colors, culture, music, and dance. The culture and people of the city is a conglomeration of African and Portuguese influences. While in Salvador, I met many Brazilians who had mixed identities and ethnicities. As someone who also suffers from the blessing and curse of being bi-racial and having multiple identities, I could relate well to what it means to be Afro-Brazilian. Although it is impossible to ignore the rich, vibrant contrast of colors in the picture and the woman’s gorgeous porcelain face, what grabs me the most is her body language: confident, proud, warm, and welcoming. The woman in the doorway sent a powerful message to me that day: you can’t choose to represent one heritage over the other, you must represent both of them equally and you can be beautiful while doing so. The Afro-Brazilian culture in Salvador is an inspiration to me and so are the women who embrace their mixed heritages and identities.