South America

The Moche of Ancient Peru: Media and Messages
Jeffrey Quilter. 2/28/2011. The Moche of Ancient Peru: Media and Messages, Pp. 172. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Peabody Museum Press. BUY THIS BOOKAbstract

Peru’s ancient Moche culture is represented in a magnificent collection of artifacts at Harvard’s Peabody Museum. In this richly illustrated volume, Jeffrey Quilter presents a fascinating introduction to this intriguing culture and explores current thinking about Moche politics, history, society, and religion.

Quilter utilizes the Peabody’s collection as a means to investigate how the Moche used various media, particularly ceramics, to convey messages about their lives and beliefs. His presentation provides a critical examination and rethinking of many of the commonly held interpretations of Moche artifacts and their imagery, raising important issues of art production and its role in ancient and modern societies.

The most up-to-date monograph available on the Moche—and the first extensive discussion of the Peabody Museum’s collection of Moche ceramics—this volume provides an introduction for the general reader and contributes to ongoing scholarly discussions. Quilter’s fresh reading of Moche visual imagery raises new questions about the art and culture of ancient Peru.

Magdalena de Cao
Jeffrey Quilter. 12/1/2020. Magdalena de Cao, Pp. 472. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Peabody Museum Press. BUY THIS BOOKAbstract

During the early Colonial Period in the Americas, as an ancient way of life ended and the modern world began, indigenous peoples and European invaders confronted, resisted, and compromised with one another. Yet archaeological investigations of this complex era are rare. Magdalena de Cao is an exception: the first in-depth and heavily illustrated examination of what life was like at one culturally mixed town and church complex during the early Colonial Period in Peru.

The field research reported in this volume took place at the site of Magdalena de Cao Viejo, a town on the edge of the Pacific Ocean whose 150-year lifespan ran from the Late Renaissance to the Age of Enlightenment. For a decade, an interdisciplinary team of researchers conducted archaeological and historical research in Peru, Spain, and the United States. Their analysis of documentary sources and recovered artifacts—including metals, textiles, beads, and fragmentary paper documents—opens new doors to understanding daily life in Magdalena de Cao during a turbulent time. Touching on themes of colonialism, cultural hybridity, resistance, and assimilation, Magdalena de Cao provides a comprehensive overview of the project itself and a rich body of data that will be of interest to researchers for years to come.

Shooting Cameras for Peace / Disparando Cámaras para la Paz
Alexander L. Fattal. 12/1/2020. Shooting Cameras for Peace / Disparando Cámaras para la Paz, Pp. 252. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Peabody Museum Press. BUY THIS BOOKAbstract

Bronze Medal, 2021 IPPY Awards (Current Events I)

As a young Fulbright scholar in Bogotá determined to democratize the photographic gaze and bring new visions and voices to public debate about Colombia’s armed conflict, Alexander L. Fattal founded Disparando Cámaras para la Paz (Shooting Cameras for Peace). The project taught photography to young people in El Progreso, a neighborhood on the city’s outskirts that was home to families displaced by violence in the countryside. Cameras in hand, the youth had a chance to record and reimagine their daily existence.

Shooting Cameras for Peace / Disparando Cámaras para la Paz is a penetrating look at one of Latin America’s most dynamic participatory media projects. The haunting and exuberant photographs made under its auspices testify to young people’s will to play, to dream, and to survive. The images bear witness to the resilience and creativity of lives marked by a war that refuses to die.

With text in English and Spanish, Shooting Cameras for Peace / Disparando Cámaras para la Paz makes vital contributions to studies of collaborative media, photographic activism, and peace and conflict in Colombia. Fattal’s insightful text offers critical reflection on the genre of participatory photography and the structural challenges faced by similar media projects.

Pages