"And what if they do not want to make a film?" Walter Aparicio Riveros, coordinator of the Proyecto Amauta in Cusco, organised the first audio-visual laboratory in Ccachin, a mountain village in Peru's Cusco province, in October and November 2007. "That would not have been a problem for me, but luckily the enthusiasm was large. A group of twenty participants between the ages of thirteen and twenty-one worked with the laboratory for two weeks. They made a variety of audio-visual productions."
Since 2003, the Proyecto Amauta has worked from the Centro Bartolomé de Las Casas in Cusco to stimulate skills with audio-visual resources in the region. "This has an entirely different character in the cities than in the countryside. In Cusco, we primarily work with communication students and artists. They often have well-developed technical skills. They are primarily interested in using audio-visual media for artistic purposes", says Aparicio.
"In the villages, however, the project assumes a more social character. Here the technical aspects must be explained and taught before production can start. During the laboratory in Ccachin, we started by viewing productions made by other indigenous population groups, including the Inuit in Canada, and images made in Ccachin during past visits. Then we got into technical aspects like camera operation, lighting and sound. We tried to give as few directions as possible in terms of framework and aesthetics."
"The results were fascinating. Many of the productions were about the lives of farmers, traditional customs and important people in the region. The participants became the storytellers of their own identity. There were even unexpected technical masterpieces. One short film is a lot like a video clip. And one group even succeeded in producing a live music score while filming the interviews using a music group that worked alongside the camera. We will soon be returning with equipment and digitised versions of the films to show them to the entire village."