“Cimarrona, I am black because the sun looked at me” is a profound photo documentary essay by Johanna Alarcón that delves into the lives and stories of the descendants of black women who survived slavery in Latin America. The project sheds light on the experiences, struggles, and resilience of these women and their descendants, highlighting their journey towards empowerment and liberation.

At its core, “Cimarrona” celebrates the strength and resilience of black women who have endured the horrors of slavery and oppression, yet have persevered and thrived despite the odds. The title itself carries a powerful message, suggesting that their blackness is not merely a physical attribute but a profound connection to their ancestors and their legacy of resistance.

One of the central themes of the project is women’s empowerment for black liberation. Alarcón emphasizes the importance of reclaiming and celebrating one’s identity, culture, and spirituality as tools for empowerment and resistance. By highlighting the resilience of these women and their commitment to preserving their ancestral practices, she challenges prevailing narratives of victimhood and instead presents a narrative of strength, agency, and resilience.