Mara Lin Visser - Visual Anthropologist

Filmmaker & Anthropologist

Visual research project in progress: ‘Roller Girls: Performance of Gender in Roller Derby’

Visual methods experiment


Roller derby is a rapidly growing full-contact sport meanly practiced by women. In this research, I explore the gender diversity within the Barcelona Roller Derby community through performance, dress, movement and the body. Through participant observation, interviews and visual methods like re-enactment and photo elicitation, I identify that the “roller girls” perform an alternative gender identity, which is encouraged by the community through the construction of a ‘derby identity’ and a training program called ‘fresh meat’. Although this work is mainly focused on gender expression, it will also assess how the community’s diversity in broader terms (race, ability, class) are prioritized and realized.

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© 2021 Mara Lin Visser – Visual Anthropologist