“El luchador que en vez de golpes daba besos / The wrestler who threw kisses instead of punches. ”
— from the text by Juan Carlos Reyna (2013)
The 'Cassandro' project began in 2012 as a documentary photo series when Belgian photographer Annick Donkers set out to document the life of the cross-dressing wrestler Cassandro.Not long afterward, Cassandro injured his knee and needed surgery. In response, Annick created a fundraising event with photography, film, and a lucha libre show with exóticos. That same year, the show was held in collaboration with Gimnasio de Arte y Cultura in Mexico City. In 2013, it was part of the Festival de Diversidad Sexual (FIDS) with an photo exhibit at the Academia de San Carlos and a lucha libre show with exóticos at the Centro Cultural de España in Mexico City.
Due to the success of the previous events, we are extending the project to different states in Mexico, the United States, and Europe. Our main goal is to present an event that combines photo, film, lucha libre and other artistic disciplines to a public that is not familiar with this form of Mexican free wrestling.
"In early 2012 I met Cassandro, a 'luchador exótico' or Cross-dressing wrestler from El Paso, Texas, who has wrestled all over the world. I started to document his life, not only his public performances but also away from the glitter and glamour. His life seemed a daily struggle; to forget the past, to overcome the prejudices of being gay in a macho world, to resist the temptation of drugs at the beginning of his career, and more recently to stay positive after a serious knee injury. I got to know him as a person with great inner strength who has been able to make his mark among the most important wrestlers in the world." (Annick Donkers - Mexico /USA, 2012-2014)
Event in Honor of Cassandro el Exótico at Gimnasio de Arte y Cultura in Mexico City (2012)
Benefitshow fundraising to cover costs of surgery.
We presented the photo series Cassandro (Annick donkers), video Cassandro el Exótico (Michael Ramos-Araizaga) and lucha event that attracted a total of 300 people. Video TVC Deportes
Expo and Lucha Libre event during the International Festival of Sexual Diversity (FIDS) at Academia San Carlos + CC España in Mexico City (2013)
At the Academia de San Carlos (exhibit) / Centro Cultural de España (projection of the photo series 'Cassandro' by Annick Donkers in a video loop, presentation of the trailer 'Cassandro goes to the bullfights' by T.Hunter McCann and a lucha libre show). Video TVC Deportes
Event Lucha Libre Exótica at the Centro Cultural Santa Fe during the AHA Festival of Progressive Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico (2014)
Projection of the photo series 'Cassandro' by Annick Donkers in a video loop, presentation of the trailer 'Cassandro goes to the bullfights' by T.Hunter McCann and a lucha libre show with exóticos. Picture Santa Fe
Event Lucha Libre at Arenbergschouwburg during the Mestizo Arts Festival in Antwerp, Belgium (2014)
In colaboration with the Mexican Embassy, MAF, MAS, CONACULTA, Sindicato Sónico, Altarte. Picture Belgium
Santa Fe Reporter, New Mexico 2014
Pasatiempo, New Mexico 2014
De Morgen, Belgium 2014
Focus Knack, Belgium 2014
Mo Magazine, Belgium 2014
Cultura Colectiva, Mexico 2013
La Jornada, Mexico 2013
Variopinto, Mexico 2013
Yaconic, Mexico 2014
Time Out, Mexico 2013
El Paso Times, USA 2012
Preview of Cassandro book
Editor : Alejandro Cartagena
Design: Cuchara Diseño - Emiliano Molina Angel
March 2017 : Pictures of Cassandro at the Vive la Calle Festival in Mexico City!
June 2016: Interview Konbini Magazine
April 2016: Selection at the San José Festival in Uruguay !