These Women Rockers Are Defying Their Patriarchal Society

Paul Shiakallis's photos highlight the lives of "Marok" women.

For the past few years, South African photographer Paul Shiakallis has been documenting the lives of a group of leather-clad women from Botswana's heavy metal subculture known as the "Queens of Marok" – Marok means "rocker" in the local Setswana language. In his photo series Leathered Skins, Unchained Hearts, Shiakallis highlights the lives of these women, who are trying to express themselves by defying a patriarchal society.

According to Shiakallis, being a Marok is harder for women than men because they face a lot more criticism from public. Describing the shoot, Shiakallis told BuzzFeed: "Some women were still 'coming out' as rockers and were not ready to be photographed. In other situations, men would thwart the shoots because they did not want their women to be in the presence of another man (me, the photographer) or to have the recognition of being a Marok."