We Will Fight (Continued)


The Tinku in Macha coincides with the catholic “Fiesta de la Cruz” making for a syncretic mix of pre-Hispanic believe and catholic faith. The idea of an early arrival was to be able to visit one of the 60 or so villages that enter Macha for the “fiesta de la Cruz” and the subsequent Tinku and see how they prepare. Tito advised me to take along gifts, pens, paper, rubber; small calculators for the schools as a measure of gaining trust and making friends. Because the visit to the community never materialized, all of these gifts that I had bought in La Paz ended up with the police that was asking for something in exchange for protection. At the hostel the only other guest is Vladimir a tall US citizen of Russian blood, ex city banker turned world traveler. Someone you would call a modern nomad as he has traveled absolutely everywhere. Vladimir in his words opted for an interesting life rather then a safe well-paid office job in NYC. I guess I subscribe to that in my own way. What did bring Vladimir to Macha? Ironically the hope of a photographers career. Stories from the Danger Zone sell, that message has arrived everywhere. I am thinking the times where access to a remote place into a different culture made the basis of a good photo story are definitely over. It seems to me that anywhere at anyone time hundreds of people are taking pictures, adding to the thick layer of images that rotate around the globe, making the job of the image maker much more trivial then in past times but also arguably much more challenging. How to tell a story if everybody is a storyteller? How can we move people inside if people are constantly on the move outside? How do we grab the attention in a zero attention span world? Perhaps photography should become more static as a counter intuitive reaction to a fast moving world in the hope to grab attention. High altitude plays weird tricks not only with the body but with the mind as well. I am thinking is all of the above written bullshit? Does It matter? What I am sure of is that photojournalism in its many forms can move people make them think and change a little but more then any viewer of images photojournalism changes the image maker, as it enriches life to a formidable extent. In this sense I feel to have the best possible job in the world, despite the financial misery. High altitude plays weird tricks! To fell asleep during the days preceding the Tinku is not easy as every now and then a blast caused by a dynamite stick (Bolivias firework of choice) will wake you.

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