This article was originally published on December 10, 2015.
In the words of photographer Laurel Golio
, the women of Brujas, an all-Latina skate crew in the Bronx, "are cool as shit
." Golio took the photos in 10 of Twelve, her project about the crew
— the 10th in a series of 12 photo projects she produced monthly in 2015 — over an afternoon in the Bronx at 157th and River Avenue, where the Brujas' skate park is located. The women refer to the park simply as "157."
"About a year ago, I had read an interview with Arianna [Maya Gil] and Sheyla [Grullón], the founders of Brujas, and thought it would be cool to photograph them," Golio says of the project's genesis. "During the course of 12 of Twelve
, I thought a lot about subculture(s) and identity and how those ideas intersected with gender and performance. I kept thinking about Brujas because they seemed to touch on a lot of those things, so I reached out to Arianna."
Arianna arranged an informal meet-up with Golio and the Brujas at 157 in October, and in the images she produced that day, "I was trying to capture the energy of the crew, the environment, the feel of the park and the surrounding area," Golio says. "The members spoke to the importance of all-female spaces and how those spaces intersect with race, community, heteronormativity, systems of oppression — they literally covered all these topics within a few hours. Not to fan-girl too hard, but I was really inspired by the crew."
As Bitch Media reported
in an October story on the Brujas, accompanied by Golio's imagery, Arianna and Sheyla founded the crew in 2014 in response to the male-dominated skating scene. Members range from their mid-teens to their late 20s and come from all over New York City to congregate in the Bronx and practice their tricks. Their name, Brujas, is Spanish for "witches." Arianna explained to Bitch Media that "practicing magic and practicing skateboarding are really similar, because it’s all about your energy, intention, and personal perspective. For a lot of people, it can serve as a vehicle of healing."
"I think spaces that foster community, safety, a sense of belonging (that can mean different things to different people), those spaces are so important and special," Golio adds of the Brujas' mission. "I guess my hope is that some of that comes through in the photos — some sense of realness and passion for those ideas."
Click through to view 16 photos from a day in the life of these women as they carve out a space of their own.