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A Picturesque Modernity in 1920s Peru and Argentina: Ruins, Cuzco and Americanism in the Photographic Reportages of Variedades and Plus Ultra

D'Argenio, MC; (2017) A Picturesque Modernity in 1920s Peru and Argentina: Ruins, Cuzco and Americanism in the Photographic Reportages of Variedades and Plus Ultra. Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies , 26 (2) pp. 221-251. 10.1080/13569325.2017.1314261. Green open access

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Abstract

This essay focuses on a series of pictorial reportages on the city of Cuzco and the surrounding region published in the Peruvian illustrated magazine Variedades in 1924 and 1925. Looking at the interplay of the aesthetic and documentary value of photographs, I analyse how the reportages on Cuzco’s architecture and ruins contributed to the indigenista proposal of regional and national identity and how, in so doing, they articulated an idea of modernity which opposed the main narrative of Western modernization produced by the magazine. I argue that Variedades became the discursive place of an interplay between opposite ideas of modernity since it afforded its readers-viewers a dual, almost conflictive, experience. Moreover, I posit that the magazine ‘mediated’ the regional discourse for the Limeño readers through the discourses of tourism and the picturesque familiarizing them with those ‘unknown’ regions. By comparing the reportages with similar documents published in the same decade by the Argentine magazine Plus Ultra, I also show that this was not something exclusive to Peru, but rather part of a broader Americanist trend that was shaping the relationship between native tradition and modernization as well as giving form to a proposal for a ‘pan-American’ identity in the 1920s.

Type: Article
Title: A Picturesque Modernity in 1920s Peru and Argentina: Ruins, Cuzco and Americanism in the Photographic Reportages of Variedades and Plus Ultra
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/13569325.2017.1314261
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1080/13569325.2017.1314261
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Visual culture, revista variedades, Cuzco, Peru, Indigenismo
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > SELCS
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1562960
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