This is what the WËRA PA RA are like


The lives of Marcela, Jaima, Gina, Alexa, Roxana and Pamela take place in the mountains of the Colombian Andes. There, they sow the land, grow and harvest coffee, make handicrafts, take care of their homes and, above all, honor their ancestral territory and culture. They are a group of trans women from the Embera Chami community, located in the Karmata Rua Indigenous Reservation, who have been making their way despite various difficulties.

These ” clay women” have not been afraid to assume their identity and have struggled to stand up for themselves despite an often hostile environment. Together they raised awareness of their artistic and spiritual expressions, and their work as weavers and designers of accessories typical to their culture echoed at the forefront of fashion in Colombia.

The Wërapara – as they call themselves in their native language – advise one another, support each other and, most importantly, strive to preserve the healing power of their self-recognition as a community. Each of these women, with their stories, represents the diversity and potential of the Embera culture and tradition. Thanks to the support of their families and their innate determination to fight discrimination, their individuality stands out. Their unstoppable strength has allowed them to become true leadership figures and role models within and outside their community.

On the music of the documentary

A song composed by Alexa Yagari, one of the main characters, becomes the sound axis of the documentary, in its text, we find the essence of the daily song of this small trans community.


I am a clay woman.
I am the clay woman
Why I am a clay woman.
Why am I a trans girl?
I am a clay woman and
I am the hummingbird flower
Why do they call me a hummingbird flower?
I am a clay woman.
I am the sweet perfumed flower when it blooms.
Clay woman I am
The one that blooms with the sweetest scented perfume
That’s me, the hummingbird flower that becomes a hummingbird.
The flower of the hummingbird made hummingbird
Clay woman.
I am the woman of clay that when it rains blooms in the dark of the night, the one that blooms with the perfume and the scent of a clay woman
I am a woman of clay
Clay woman
The one that at night becomes the flower of the hummingbird
I am the flower of the earth with the aroma of a woman of clay.
Earth flower,
Hummingbird flower. I am a hummingbird clay woman, turned into a hummingbird.
Earth flower, trans girl,
Earth flower, trans girl, always a woman,
I’m a perfume that grows with the scent of a clay woman.
Earth flower, trans girl, always a woman.
With the perfume of a clay woman, a sweet-scented woman. that is me.

Interaction Path

About the documentary

The idea for the documentary was born when Richard Battye and Liliana Sanguino invited the filmmaker Claudia Fischer to be part of the interactive project WRAPAROUND, which took place in London in 2019.

Thus, in 2018, Claudia was commissioned to document the process of the fashion designer Laura Laurens and the transgender artisans from the Karmata Rua community in Antioquia when preparing the Fashion Case Show at Summer House 2019 in London, for which Liliana served as curator.

After the success of the project, they were soon invited to design a new fashion show for the national holiday “Day of the Race” in Medellin, Colombia, in 2019.

Laura Laurens, Liliana Sanguino and Gulsun Mettin (fashion design professors at London Westminster University) participated in the project. In turn, La Colegiatura de Medellín (fashion design professors and students) integrated the LGBT community of Karmata Rua as artisan creators and catwalk models.

At that point, Claudia decided to go beyond documenting the processes and delve into the lives of the girls she had been working with.

Thus arose the collaboration and friendship and the possibility of making a moving portrait where the group could expose the burdens we harbor in our society.

During the conversations that followed, they observed each other and examined each other’s values.

“I became interested in the story of this group of artisan girls, not only because of my anthropological fascination with indigenous cultures, but also for the authenticity of their characters.”

Upon meeting Roxana and Gina, some questions came up. Claudia was struck by their openness and honesty, and their personalities, and wondered what it means to be transgender in their community. How have they “come out of the closet”? And how do their families see them? What do they do for a living, how do they live, and how do they relate with one another?

Gender identity is an urgent and ongoing global issue, both on the agendas of major institutions such as UNESCO and Amnesty International, for whom gender identity is a universal priority, and from a national perspective to create inclusive education systems that address discrimination and exclusion based on sexual orientation.

Behind the scenes

Photo gallery