Photography & Art.
Photographer: Carlos Jiménez Cahua
Statement for Lima Series
I photographed the landscape of Lima with varying degrees of man's development present. Lima is a desert, but despite this, it has one of the largest populations of any city, and it's growing too rapidly, so much so that people are forced to make their home anywhere they can, yielding pueblos jóvenes, or young towns, in areas that were previously completely undeveloped. Yet because it's a desert, there where they develop, there is no removal of trees or brush, they make their home upon the raw earth itself. For the people of Lima, this makes their relationship to the land both more intimate and humbling than usual, particularly when compared to their first-world contemporaries.
In places like the United States, when man assumes his archetypal role as builder, he acts as sculptor, taking the raw form, the earth, and shaping it to his needs, nearly unrecognizable in its final state. The earth is his clay and he the sculptor. For the people of Lima, their relationship with the earth is fundamentally different. They don't sculpt the land; the earth remains visible if not nearly unaltered despite their development. Whereas the people of developed nations affect the form and therefore identity of the land, the people of Lima quite literally merely scratch the surface—their relationship to the ground is not one of dominance, but of acquiescence. It is only in two dimensions that they can affect the land. They conform to the surface. Their relationship is comparatively inversed—it is the earth's will which is primary. In this way they do not sculpt, but can only paint the landscape, their presence forming just a translucent film atop the topography of the land.
I am Peruvian by blood and birth, but I've grown up an American. In the US, and in most places, I feel like I am in a city, region, or nation—those intangible creations of people. But in Lima, I felt not like I was in a city, in Peru, or even South America, but atop the Earth herself.
-Carlos Jiménez Cahua