Cuzco

Out of the Archives and Into the Street

This past month, passers-by in the streets of Cuzco, Peru, saw double. For the city-wide exhibit El Cusco de Martín Chambi, 32 images of the city taken by world-renowned indigenous photographer Martín Chambi early in the 20th century were enlarged and set up around the city—“in the very spaces and whenever possible from the very angles where Martín Chambi took them,” says Silvia Spitta, a professor of Spanish and of comparative literature and the Robert E. Maxwell 1923 Professor of Arts and Sciences.

Spitta’s work with the Chambi archive was supported by an award from the Office of the Dean of the Faculty’s Scholarly Innovation Fund, and involved preserving and cataloging the archive’s holdings. At the same time Spitta “intervened” in the archive to make its holdings accessible to the public at large.