The mystery of an Angel

Gabriel

Gabriel

A couple of days ago I saw this photo of mine on a friend’s wall and it brought me back to the memory of why I took this picture. It was the mystery of the angel’s demeanour : he seemed to be in a different reality, so involved was he in his own ritual.

It was during a yearly festival in La Paz that I chanced upon him with thousands of other dancers.

If you wish to ‘participate’ in the festival of Gran Poder, please view this e-book: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/47368164/granpoder/index.html

Gran Poder: a colourful festival

Gran Poder book cover

It is difficult to imagine a cultural event such as the festival represented in this book if one has not previously witnessed a similar  Andean religious/folkloric manifestation. What catches the eye is the abundance of vivid colour as the groups dance their way down from the streets on the hillside  to the commercial centre of the city of La Paz in an organised and relentless fashion, singing to the sound of wind instruments, cymbals and large bass drums. The parade begins early in the morning, at about 6:30 with the votive offering to the Ancestors to end past midnight. There were about 40,000 participants representing 16 types of dances when I witnessed this event.

The origin of the celebration of Jesus of The Great Power dates back to December 8, 1663, with the foundation of the convent of the Immaculate Conception and sister Genoveva Carrión who brought the image of the three-faced Jesus representing the Holy Trinity. Interestingly enough Pope Benedict VI banned this image in the XVIII century.

There is much to be said about this cultural event: the modality of Andean faith,  community spirit, the Ayllu concept, etc. etc.  but perhaps this is not the place to expand.

This e-book can be found at: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/47368164/granpoder/index.html (the reader might take a little time to load…. please be patient)

One of my best

Bologna

Allá por el 1974 cuando el Jaime y yo preparábamos la publicación de Imágenes Paceñas y después de una mano de cacho, (siendo él Jurjizada y yo Moiferquín, no recuerdo quien ganó) mirábamos las estrellas con un viejo telescopio. Se me ocurrió quitar el lente de mi Nikon  y acoplarlo al telescopio, apuntándolo a los cerros de Bologna con la ceja del Alto en la distancia. Más o menos a eso de la medianoche.

Pienso yo que es una de mis mejores fotos. Claro está que muchos dicen que esta fuera de foco… Y yo digo: por supuesto! Y además que el grano es intencional.

Back in 1974 when Jaime Saenz and myself were preparing the first edition of Imágenes Paceñas and after a swift game of cacho (his pseudonym was Jurjizada and mine Moiferquín) we experimented with an old telescope. I replaced the lens of my Nikon with it and pointed at the far distance.

The result is one of the best photographs I’ve ever taken. Some say that it is out of focus. My reply is: of course! Furthermore the grain is intentional.

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