1989 seems like a very long time ago. I was working there as the photographer on a documentary. We were filming Peruvian Paso Fino horses on a privately funded adventure…. in the middle of a terrorist war, It was stressful, frightening, terrifying at times, and everything that I had previously constructed as “how life should be” was disintegrated, daily. We travelled around, a crew of 5, filming the men who owned these beautiful horses. Their lives were extraordinary, the country, wild, my expectations, nothing to do with reality.
The Sendero Luminoso, Shining Path terrorists, were in full swing: Bombs going off everywhere, a land terrified by the regime, and we had a boiled egg on a plate with a loaded handgun each for breakfast. We were chased by police trying to steal our passports and guns, we were held up, threatened and generally it was not what I thought I had signed up for. I was a using cocaine addict and alcoholic at the time, so I will not need to describe some of the background insanity that went along with the filming.
In the images you have before you there is a cemetery that had been raided: the coffins pulled out and the bodies stripped of rings, gold fillings and any clothing. A prize fighting cock, men betting on the birds, children from a slum watching us work, bulls being herded by the vaqueros, a lone rider crossing the desert dunes. Just a small selection from another Land that Time Forgot.