Images of a Flexible Andes culture
The CEDLA in Amsterdam published a book on the effect of globalisation
on the Andes culture, simultaneously with a CD ROM with photographs
of the Andes.
Lamas, pan flutes and bright-coloured clothing have always existed.
But will these and other typical characteristics of the Andes culture
still exist in the future?
'Encroaching globalisation.' - Dick de Morrée / PIED Andino
In Imaging the Andes: Shifting Margins of a Marginal World
, organised by the Centre for study and documentation of Latin
America (CEDLA), various authors assert that the image that scientists,
development workers and other foreigners have of 'Lo Andino' ('the
Andesine') is primarily a reflection of their own objectives and
interests. Author Jeroen Windmeijer uses a number of quotes to demonstrate
the popular image of the Andes culture:
'...The Otavalo Indians have lost their identity... All they do
is imitate others...They no longer use traditional patters and materials.
At the market in Otavalo, products can be found from Peru, Guatemala
and India. These have nothing to do with the Otavalo culture. But
they are sold as if they have been produced locally...'
Quote from a Bolivian travel agent
'Traditions: the future or the past?' - Edgar Guerrero/ PIED Andino
According to Windmeijer, the concern for the loss of the identity
of the Andes Indian population is based on questionable assumptions,
namely that the Indians are obligated to satisfy the expectations
of the outsiders. The book justifiably questions whether the term
and the image of 'Lo Andino' is still a useful categorisation. Through
various contributions, the book demonstrates that the Andes culture
is flexible and diverse, and that even deep within the Andes old
views are fading.
The dynamics of the Andes culture is also the subject of the photographs
on the CD ROM Duizend beelden van de Andes (One thousand
images of the Andes). The photographs were taken in the period 1995
- 1997 as part of a study of the influence of development cooperation
on the population of the Andes and have now been published on CD
ROM. In part based on the photographs, the researchers conclude
that the culture of the population of the Andes is much more flexible
and diverse than the programs of the development organisations.
Imaging the Andes: Shifting
Margins of a Marginal World , Ton Salman and Annelies
Zoomers (editors), Aksant Academic Publishers, € 28.50
Duizend Beelden van de Andes , CD ROM, CEDLA, €
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