CARACAS - JUNE 27, 2019. Aron, or Arona, widely known as “Venezuela’s #1 Drag Queen,” poses for a portrait during the Drag Gala 2019. Aron said that drag is the decision to live a fantasy, where queens and public alike can ha

CARACAS, VENEZUELA - JUNE 27, 2019. Aron, or Arona, widely known as “Venezuela’s #1 Drag Queen,” poses for a portrait during the Drag Gala 2019. Aron said that drag is the decision to live a fantasy, where queens and public alike can have fun and escape from the everyday. But there is also the part where the public praises you for how beautiful you are, but they don’t know you as a person. That is why many queens create family dynamics among themselves, where Aron was considered the matriarch. Aron passed away June 9, 2020 at the age of 49 years old.

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CARACAS, VENEZUELA - MAY 6, 2020 Pamela poses behind her curtain in her apartment in El Valle, a neighborhood on the West side of Caracas. This morning, bombs could be heard from El Setenta, the barrio up the hill from her ho

CARACAS, VENEZUELA - MAY 6, 2020 Pamela poses behind her curtain in her apartment in El Valle, a neighborhood on the West side of Caracas. This morning, bombs could be heard from El Setenta, the barrio up the hill from her home. Gang and police confrontations increased during the COVID-19 quarantine. 

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CARACAS, VENEZUELA - MARCH 12, 2020 Piles of shiny plastic merchandise lay out under the intense 10am sun in Chacaito, a commercial center of the city, waiting to be hung up in a kiosk. As the US dollar flooded the market in

CARACAS, VENEZUELA - MARCH 12, 2020 Piles of shiny plastic merchandise lay out under the intense 10am sun in Chacaito, a commercial center of the city, waiting to be hung up in a kiosk. As the US dollar flooded the market in 2019, new businesses and merchandise began popping up. 

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CARACAS, VENEZUELA - OCT 7, 2019 A woman in a commune in La Vega, a neighborhood in West Caracas, carries a bottle of water to her home. Communes are a people-powered and state-supported organization originally implemented by

CARACAS, VENEZUELA - OCT 7, 2019 A woman in a commune in La Vega, a neighborhood in West Caracas, carries a bottle of water to her home. Communes are a people-powered and state-supported organization originally implemented by Chavez during his presidency.

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CARACAS, VENEZUELA - JUNE 2, 2019 A group of university students wait for an outdoor rock concert to start in Catia, a western area of the city.

CARACAS, VENEZUELA - JUNE 2, 2019 A group of university students wait for an outdoor rock concert to start in Catia, a western area of the city.

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CARACAS, VENEZUELA - JUNE 2, 2019 Nancy poses for a portrait in her home in El Tamarindo, a barrio of Caracas. Her neighborhood ‘territory’ has been fought over by rival gangs for years.

CARACAS, VENEZUELA - JUNE 2, 2019 Nancy poses for a portrait in her home in El Tamarindo, a barrio of Caracas. Her neighborhood ‘territory’ has been fought over by rival gangs for years.

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CARACAS, VENEZUELA - OCT 15, 2019 A drag performer prepares for a professional photo session in the club. This club is tucked away in a shopping center, always keeping the front door locked to avoid harassment and unwanted co

CARACAS, VENEZUELA - OCT 15, 2019 A drag performer prepares for a professional photo session in the club. This club is tucked away in a shopping center, always keeping the front door locked to avoid harassment and unwanted conflict.

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LA GUAIRA, VENEZUELA - FEB 24, 2020 A party-goer stands shirtless at a beach party. The party was for the elite of Caracas’ LGBTQ community, held at a private residence with a high entry fee charged in US dollars.

LA GUAIRA, VENEZUELA - FEB 24, 2020 A party-goer stands shirtless at a beach party. The party was for the elite of Caracas’ LGBTQ community, held at a private residence with a high entry fee charged in US dollars.

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NAIGUATA, VENEZUELA - JUNE 24, 2019 Confetti is thrown into the air in front of the local church as the town of Naiguata celebrates San Juan, a Catholic tradition paired with drumming and a massive parade.

NAIGUATA, VENEZUELA - JUNE 24, 2019 Confetti is thrown into the air in front of the local church as the town of Naiguata celebrates San Juan, a Catholic tradition paired with drumming and a massive parade.

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CARACAS, VENEZUELA - AUGUST 7, 2019. Walcott, a 20-year-old hip hop dancer turned drag queen, poses for a portrait in his home in Propatria, a barrio in West Caracas.

CARACAS, VENEZUELA - AUGUST 7, 2019. Walcott, a 20-year-old hip hop dancer turned drag queen, poses for a portrait in his home in Propatria, a barrio in West Caracas.

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CARACAS - AUGUST 2, 2019
Aron chatting with fellow queens in the dressing room of the local club in Altamira. When asked why he has stayed in Caracas doing drag, he said that he wants to stay and support the drag community in Venezuela. He has seen many f

CARACAS, VENEZUELA - AUGUST 2, 2019 Aron chatting with fellow queens in the dressing room of the local club in Altamira. When asked why he has stayed in Caracas doing drag, he said that he wants to stay and support the drag community in Venezuela. He has seen many friends leave to try and make a career out of drag in other countries and have to start from zero. Aron sees himself as a mentor for the younger generation of drag queens entering the local club. As he said, “There is no Venezuelan Drag Institute that is going to teach you how to be a drag queen. The club owner isn’t going to teach you, the DJ isn’t going to teach you…it’s the “marica vieja” (old gay guy) who is going to show you the ropes.” Aron’s legacy lives on through those younger queens. 

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CARACAS, VENEZUELA - FEB 10, 2020 Maria, a 14 year old baseball player, poses for a portrait at her academy. The local academy works to train young talent as parents hope that their child will be picked up by a US team, provi

CARACAS, VENEZUELA - FEB 10, 2020 Maria, a 14 year old baseball player, poses for a portrait at her academy. The local academy works to train young talent as parents hope that their child will be picked up by a US team, providing financial security as the crisis continues.

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LA GUAIRA, VENEZUELA - FEB 24, 2020 A party-goer smokes a cigarette in a group of people dancing. The party was for the elite of Caracas’ LGBTQ community, held at a private residence with a high entry fee charged in US dollar

LA GUAIRA, VENEZUELA - FEB 24, 2020 A party-goer smokes a cigarette in a group of people dancing. The party was for the elite of Caracas’ LGBTQ community, held at a private residence with a high entry fee charged in US dollars.

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CARACAS, VENEZUELA - JULY 4, 2020 Gloria, a local kiosk owner, shows her current work in progress: a book about the characters she meets through the kiosk. Writing is a welcome distraction during the city’s strict COVID-19 lo

CARACAS, VENEZUELA - JULY 4, 2020 Gloria, a local kiosk owner, shows her current work in progress: a book about the characters she meets through the kiosk. Writing is a welcome distraction during the city’s strict COVID-19 lockdown.

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CARACAS, VENEZUELA - JUNE 26, 2020 Julieth, a 23 year old home nurse, poses for a portrait outside the apartment building where she works. During the COVID-19 lockdown, she travels from Guatire, a commuter city, every week fo

CARACAS, VENEZUELA - JUNE 26, 2020 Julieth, a 23 year old home nurse, poses for a portrait outside the apartment building where she works. During the COVID-19 lockdown, she travels from Guatire, a commuter city, every week for days-long shifts with her patient. Despite the grueling commute - sometimes over four hours waiting for a bus and numerous military checkpoints - she says, “It is what it is. You have to find a way to get here - cause you have to work...”

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CARACAS, VENEZUELA - JUNE 27, 2019 A drag performer puts on his makeup in a bathroom backstage. This show was the third annual “Drag Gala” held to celebrate the LGBTQ community in Caracas.

CARACAS, VENEZUELA - JUNE 27, 2019 A drag performer puts on his makeup in a bathroom backstage. This show was the third annual “Drag Gala” held to celebrate the LGBTQ community in Caracas.

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CARACAS, VENEZUELA - FEB 25, 2020 A young teen flusters with her hair as she prepares for her portrait. This event, Carnaval, was held at a military base on the west side of Caracas where families were able to walk the ground

CARACAS, VENEZUELA - FEB 25, 2020 A young teen flusters with her hair as she prepares for her portrait. This event, Carnaval, was held at a military base on the west side of Caracas where families were able to walk the grounds, dress in costume and enjoy the festivities.

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CARACAS, VENEZUELA - FEB 13, 2020 A b-girl hip hop dancers adjusts her braids during a crew rehearsal at El Teresa, a public theater space in downtown Caracas. Many crews have taken refuge at this theater in order to practice

CARACAS, VENEZUELA - FEB 13, 2020 A b-girl hip hop dancers adjusts her braids during a crew rehearsal at El Teresa, a public theater space in downtown Caracas. Many crews have taken refuge at this theater in order to practice, as they were criminalized and harassed when dancing in the street.

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CARACAS, VENEZUELA - MAY 16, 2020 Deisy, a building maintenance worker, shows her tattoo of her father and sons’ names. She is currently the only one working in her home, as her husband battles pancreatic cancer. She is grate

CARACAS, VENEZUELA - MAY 16, 2020 Deisy, a building maintenance worker, shows her tattoo of her father and sons’ names. She is currently the only one working in her home, as her husband battles pancreatic cancer. She is grateful to be able to work, despite the difficulties, during the capital’s COVID-19 lockdown.

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CARACAS - JULY 30, 2019. Daniel - dressed in full drag as Miranda - in a cab on his way to the drag club in Altamira. He, like other drag queens, work nights. Often the daily routine is to sleep a few hours after getting home

CARACAS, VENEZUELA - JULY 30, 2019. Daniel - dressed in full drag as Miranda - in a cab on his way to the drag club in Altamira. He, like other drag queens, work nights. Often the daily routine is to sleep a few hours after getting home from the club, rehearse and get made up again for the show. In a country like Venezuela, due to a mix of street violence, lack of public transportation and hyperinflation fewer people are going out than before and night life workers are more vulnerable than ever.

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