Work in progress documentary in collaboration with photographer Sean Jackson.
(Scene features Felix Machaca of the Q’eros community, Peru)
The Q’ eros, more than most indigenous communities in Peru, have maintained cultural traditions surviving from the pre-Hispanic era. These customs reflect the community’s Andean belief system and its close connection to the Earth and surrounding mountains. The community’s practice of these traditions has earned it the distinction of being the last existing descendants of the Incas.
Q’eros community elders attribute the community’s survival of the Spanish conquest to the protection of their sacred mountains, the Apus, and the community continues to maintain its identity and traditions despite the increasing reach of globalization. The Q’eros describe their approach to development as “adaptation-resistance”: strategically assimilating new developments that are useful, while conserving the traditional by adapting it to the present. The impending completion of two highways into the Q’eros’ land will soon allow unprecedented access between the community and the outside world, bringing many benefits but also threats of mining, cultural loss, and potentially destructive tourism exploitation.