In 2013, Emma Cavigliasso spent 20 days in Peru. On her itinerary, there was Puertomaldonado in the Amazon rainforest, the Andes, Cusco, Valle Sagrado, Lake Titicaca, Cañón Del Colca and Arequipa.
I asked Emma to share some Peru memories with me, but as you’ll see, the images she captured during her trip speaks strongly by themselves.
A few words about yourself?
I am 31 years old and I currently live in Turin, Italy, where I studied. I’m an architect, a passionate photographer and traveler loving cooking and cinema.
I spent my childhood and my teens in the quiet countryside; my parents are fond of literature, art and music and they taught me the value of curiosity. Now, I work as a project manager in a big firm in Turin, but I keep carrying on personal projects as a freelancer such as interior design, graphic design, publishing and photography works.
How did you start photography?
As far as I can remember, I’ve always been fascinated by photography and I always took pictures, but they were just a collection of moments and there was no awareness or artistic quality. Actually, this awareness grew very late, during my first trips without my family. Then I started studying photography in 2009 when I bought my first DSLR camera. Ever since then, I started to practice very frequently and I attended some classes, especially in reportage and photojournalism but I prefer documentary photography and spontaneous pictures.
You’re living in Turin, Italy. How would you describe it? How does it influence your work?
The city I live in is in the north west of Italy and is known worldwide particularly for FIAT automotive industry, Juventus Football Club and Winter Olympic Games in 2006. Actually, Turin has a very long history (did you know it was the first capital of Italy?) and strong cultural traditions.
Thanks to the Olympic Games, it changed a lot during the last years, and tourism is becoming significant. This is a source of pride, because I love this city and I think it’s a very livable place. Historically, Turin has a very energetic artistic and cultural scene and I think that this is influencing my work: everywhere you look, you see something that makes you challenge yourself and improve your work.
“At night, only candlelight illuminates houses and surroundings are totally dark.”
When did you travel to Peru? Why did you choose this destination?
This is a nice story: my father’s childhood dream was to visit Machu Picchu. He talked about it so many times! But he never traveled outside Europe. In 2013, my sister and I decided to take him there as a gift, to fulfill his dream. We planned a three-week trip that included the most famous destinations on the Andes and also some days in the Amazon Forest.
What has been your most touching or most amazing moment you’ve experienced while traveling Peru?It is quite difficult to find one single moment, because it was a very exciting trip! But as the daughter, the moment my father saw Machu Picchu from the famous panoramic viewpoint was really moving: he was so happy and touched!
I felt amazing sensations in the forest: it is so wide and wild and you feel very tiny in it. It is like an enormous lung breathing filled with life; you can clearly feel it, and it is totally overwhelming.
On the Andes, the most touching moment I’ve experienced was in Taquile Island, on the Peruvian side of Lake Titicaca. The local community established a sort of B&B system, so we were the guests of a Peruvian family. It is also necessary to point out that on the island, there is no electricity system and no water supply. They live a rough life, but they are very nice and generous hosts.
We spent two days with this family, visiting the island with them, enjoying their cooking and learning how they live. At night, only candlelight illuminates houses and surroundings are totally dark, so the view on the Titicaca landscape by moonlight was breathtaking.
How did the Peru culture influence your work for this reportage?
In Peru, there is a strong mix of traditions: the native and the colonial, the magic and the religious thinking, the Incan legends and the Catholic faith. It’s all very interesting. You can feel that it’s deeply influencing people in their daily life. Generally speaking, I found Peruvian people very discreet and quite shy, so the reportage technique was inevitable.