Martin Chambi: Photography
Chambi’s chronicles of Andean life and Inca ruins highlight Peru’s emerging Indigenous discourse
Of Indigenous origin, Peruvian photographer Martín Chambi (1891–1973) dedicated a large part of his life to photographing the Peruvian Andes, reclaiming the pre-Hispanic past through images of Inca ruins and portraits of life in Andean communities in the early 20th century. Chambi’s work brings a new perspective to photography of the time, highlighting the emerging Indigenous discourse that was starting to gain force in South America. While he was not the first to photograph Machu Picchu, Chambi was among the first Peruvian chroniclers of the Inca citadel. Drawing on Machu Picchu’s geometric forms, Chambi’s work entered a new phase in which shape, space and texture build toward more complex compositions and starker contrasts, making him an emblem of contemporary documentary photography in Peru and Latin America. This gorgeous clothbound volume compiles 170 of Chambi’s black-and-white images.