My initial plan was to come here and travel around the country, through the Andean mountains and the jungle, in order to document another side of Peru, one that is less Lima-centred, basically divided into coast, mountain and jungle. But, as you might have heard, the political instability in the country and the roadblocks have cut off all major routes and most places are closed (Machu Picchu included). So, my plans changed and instead I decided to explore more of Lima and today went to the second largest cemetery in Latin America called Nueva Esperanza, located in a southern suburb of the city. Because it’s Sunday, everybody flocks there to bring flowers, food, and alcohol to their loved ones’ graves. While I was there I bumped into an old man who was playing the harp and he begged me to take his picture, do you know why? He wanted to have a photo of him to put on his grave when he died, because he wanted to be buried here and didn’t want anyone to forget about him.
The art scene here is only for a certain privileged part of society, it’s less of a necessity than in places like Paris, however, music plays a central part and is everywhere. It’s actually the first time I’m doing one whole project in Peru and the first time I have delved into doing portraits. I used to focus on land and cityscapes but I started working on portraits during lockdown in 2020 and I loved this new approach. As a photographer, there comes a point where you experience a certain shift, when projects start to feel very repetitive and you’re just dying to feel something new, to experiment and force yourself to do something bigger and get out of your comfort zone. I’m so shy and have a lot of anxiety so talking to strangers is a huge challenge. When I’m alone roaming around and can connect to people, that feels really special.