Day 11 of #100dayproject: Landscapes of Memories at Cuzco

DSC05484Memorial Stone in commemoration of Túpac Amaru’s Rebellion at Cuzco Square.

 Remember, remember, the fifth of November…

Usually, I have a pre planned agenda with topics that I want to write at the #100dayproject (Sorry, Pianos!). Sometimes that’s agenda is postponed.

The fifth of November is a special date for all those who knows the story of Guy Fawkes. I watched the movie V, but I preferred the original leitmotiv of Guy Fawkes: Ideas can change the world.

Besides of the political implications that movie (and the comic), this powerful message is still generating echoes in our times: the urgency of ideas who making social good.

This urgency sometimes is about the memory. The communities have need to recreate or preserve their own memories, avoiding the pass of time.

DSC05486Cuzco Cathedral.

When I lived on Cusco – Perú at this 2014, I visited the memorial of Freedom Rebellion of Túpac Amaru (1781). When I read the memorial stone, I felt the feelings of all those brave men and women had at that violent times: fighting against the Spanish conquerors. I felt all the rage against the conquerors who destroyed their temples and installed their own churches: replacing the Inti (Sun God) with the Christian God.

The landscapes could be created at the entire willingness of the dominant forces of the society. In the Cuzco case was the Spanish conquerors and Catholic Church. They destroyed the major temples and squares, then, they built with the same rocks their own churches and palaces.

File:Brooklyn Museum - Virgin of Carmel Saving Souls in Purgatory - Circle of Diego Quispe Tito - overall.jpg

Virgin of Carmel Saving Souls in Purgatory – Circle of Diego Quispe Tito. Between 1600 and 1699 AC.

Oil on Canvas 104.1 × 73.7 cm (41 × 29 in). Brooklyn Museum Online Collection at Wikimedia.

The arts cooperated with the conquerors domination. All the Incaic art was destroyed. All the gold statues was converted in gold coins and were sent to Spain. All the stone sculptures were destroyed and replaced with catholic saints. The mural paintings of Inca Empire was covered with catholic images and Spanish leaders. The identity of cusquena people was buried and forbidden. But, under the surface of Spanish traditions was growing a completely new identity: the mestizo culture. The Cuzco painters created a new style of art (Cuzco School) inspired by their own Inca traditions of colors, shapes and motives. Of course, they had to paint whatever the church leaders wanted, but with their special touch, preserving the Inca identity and mixing it with the new Spanish identity.

DSC05488Starbucks Coffee at Cuzco Square.

The landscapes changed again with the up rise of the Peruvian Republic at XIX Century, but this time the new government preserve the mestizo culture: the catholic churches and the Inca temples; the Starbucks coffee with the gourmet ethnic restaurant. All in the same square. Cuzco lives today with the mixed cultures and their changing landscapes. Cuzco people is proud of their mestizo culture and their colonial art.  The landscapes of memories are alive in every corner of the city.


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