Journal of Romance studies

Poor little rich kids

Children in María Elvia de Hank by Yvonne Venegas

Journal of Romance studies (2019), 19, (1), 43–67.


This article analyses the photographic representations of the daughters and stepdaughters of Tijuana politician and businessman Jorge Hank Rhon. His wife María is the subject of Yvonne Venegas’s 2010 album María Elvia de Hank, which documents the everyday life of this super-rich Mexican family. Venegas photographs all the family’s nineteen children, who are depicted as externalized symbolic repositories of their parents’ status and aspirations. Their visual presence produces a dissonance within an apparently conventional photographic representation of neoliberal success. In addressing that discord, I engage with recent debates on the role of representation in the relationships between culture and neoliberal subjects (Gill 2008). A close analysis of photographs shows how gendered representations of girls demonstrate ambivalent aspects of neoliberal subjectivity and question neoliberal definitions of choice and success.

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Author details

Gasiorowski, Dominika