Mackenzie Calle



On March 15, 2020, Peruvian President Martín Vizcarra declared a national State of Emergency in regard to the COVID-19 Pandemic. The Peruvian border was closed, flights were canceled, and Peruvian citizens quarantined to their homes. Despite the early preventative measures, Peru has seen almost 33,000 deaths as of October 2020, one of the worst in Latin America.

I had just returned from Peru a week before the shutdown on March 8th. I herded cows with farmers in Tuti, a small town near the Colca Canyon, browsed the markets of Arequipa, watched football games on the local pitch, stumbled through my broken Spanish with construction workers, watched Lent celebrations in Chivay and Cusco, and was caught in beautiful torrential downpours in the rainforest.

I wanted to use digital collage to highlight the diversity and interconnectedness of Peru, and the people to the land. The photographs primarily frame a subject against a Peruvian landscape. These photos are a document of a country with a rich and diverse topography and culture, all of which I was lucky enough to be a part of. But Peru, and the rest of the world, were unaware of the coming pandemic a week later.

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