Los Vampiros de la Fotografia
Cuzco, Peru 2013
The nostalgia of the very first days is almost gone thanks to the warm welcome that we have been constantly receiving from the Peruvian people.
The idea of moving the dates of the Sacred Valley workshop from October to November has been a great move mostly because after eleven years of shooting the same locations and celebrations I allowed myself and my students to continue the exploration of this fascinating region.
These days in the countryside, stopping whenever I felt there was an opportunity, sharing conversations and chichas with the wonderful campesinos families we have met along the way, have been so special.
Everybody in the group is appreciating how lucky we have been.
We covered so much ground like never before. We experienced new celebrations; we traveled above four thousand meters in a van driven by the trusted Victor to discover amazing landscapes, simple people welcoming us. I can easily add that the Group Los Vampiros de la Fotografia has been, the most compelling and complete workshop in Peru to date.
We keep stumbling upon incredible, simple moments like the one of the kids and the kittens. As thirsty but good vampires we descended upon them trying to capture the beautiful relation between the children and the cats. What a situation! Without interfering with one another, we chorally took these precious moments.
Out of the blue we run into a traditional dance festival. Hundred of children, teenagers and even their teachers were participating. The music, the dance, the colorful costumes, the sensual and gentle movements of the dancers brought tears of joy to my eyes. They made me understand why for the last twelve years I’ve felt true and unconditional love here; why I’ve been returning to these lands. So many memories, so many unforgettable moments: they have become an important part of me.
Peru is definitely my favorite country in South America because; here, I feel that people are still in touch with their past, their tradition, their music, and their life. In spite of globalization this country is defending its roots; it’s proudly saying: we don’t want to become like everybody else.
This morning, after a lovely breakfast and the daily editing of the nine students’ work, we are ascending again to above four thousand meters to joins several campesinos communities in the celebrations of their pueblo.
We are all getting ready for this new adventure where we will be able to touch the clouds with our fingers.
As I gather more info from the people we meet, new workshops possibilities arise for the future.
One thing is clear; the exploration needs to continue during different time of the year in order to provide a more profound vision of this ancestral land.
I want to humbly thank each one of my students who besides taking unique images shared these ten unforgettable days.
Bruce, Debby, Geralyn, John, Justin, Leonardo, Monica, Stein and Tom you made the difference. Thank you for listening and for helping me edit my Cuban, Mexican and Peruvian work, for having shared this long trip, for the pleasant moments sharing the incredible Peruvian food such as the ceviche of sole, fried squids, shrimp chaufa and the delicious Ernestina’s empanadas.
Many of the memories we shared will always fluctuate inside of me.
I can’t wait to return in May, 2014. Prepare yourself for another soulful journey where the sky and the earth come together.