Can’t imagine how many kids living under the poverty line are needed to support exceptional rich people like her in PerĂş.
Scott, I believe that presenting your previous peruvian photos in the same visual stream than this one has a huge risk: showing isolated postcards of the a multicultural PerĂş instead of making a statement about inequality.
Not to shoot down you’re argument from the first sentence but what makes you think she’s “exceptional rich”? She’s a professional working woman that Peru should be proud of not ridiculed by people like you that base their statements on prejudice.
So you think that even though I never make a “statement about inequality” I should for Peru? Why?
What’s the ethical question?
Seems to me you just don’t like what I saw.
Why don’t you educate me on how you think I should have done this project while respecting the way I work as a photographer.
Unfortunately, it *is* impossible not to see the contrast between the obvious poverty in the previous photographs of Peruvian women, and the trappings of wealth and western luxury shown in this image. The lady in this picture may not be wealthy, but at least in the moment you have captured, she is clearly enjoying a far more posh and comfortable lifestyle, than is the norm in Peru (if we go by your other shots of that country). So it is impossible for someone who has been following your Peruvian series to go away without feeling that slight twinge of guilt at the depressing economic inequality (possible racial in origin? the poor peruvians seem to be Native Indians, while this lady is clearly white) in that country.
In giving you their reasons why you are wrong about posting these photos posters here are making fallacious arguments. The argument from fallacy assumes that if an argument for some conclusion is fallacious, then the conclusion itself is false. So basically, these people are just wrong.
The first item “begs the question”. Basically, they are saying, “These people are rich, those people are poor, therefore you are being unethical.”
–Here people are not only making assumptions (ie. guessing that which they do not know for certain about a person’s wealth) they are assuming that the disparagement, or inequity, therefore exudes “a lack of ethics” on your part.
In saying that, I will point out that they are especially guilty of this: “Ecological fallacy” â€“ “…inferences about the nature of specific individuals are based solely upon aggregate statistics collected for the group to which those individuals belong.”
The other inherent argument is this: “Appeal to emotion â€“ where an argument is made due to the manipulation of emotions, rather than the use of valid reasoning.”
Or even better: “Appeal to pity (argumentum ad misericordiam) â€“ an argument attempts to induce pity to sway opponents.”
I like to think I retained something from college, and there you go. I love your photos. Period!
No one should jump to conclusions about your motivation for taking and posting these photos. While beauty is, and always will be, in the eye of the beholder, isn’t it always beneficial for society to err on the side of caution — to jump to the BEST, rather than the worst conclusion about someone or some thing? I have learned that lesson myself.
Nestor and FKS,
you should know that Peru is a multicultural country reason why we have many different skin tones as you guys talk about. There’s not just ”white” but also black and natives. We (peruvians) are so lucky to be such a rich country talking about culture and traditions.
It’s true we have poverty in our country, but which country doesn’t?! FYI, we also have ”rich people” (as you guys said) in Cuzco. I bet Scott just wanted to show the beauty he saw in those people wearing those typical clothes instead of showing you a regular person wearing jeans or high heels. I wont deny they might be poor and that because of their clothes (typical) you might identify them, but not all the people that dressed like that is poor. Some of them just wear like that because of tradition.
Talking about the picture of the lady in the blue dress, she might or not be ‘rich’. Who knows? Nowadays, having a car doesn’t make you rich. So don’t judge! I guess Scott just wanted to show the spontanity of the moment showing a women getting off her car while she was going somewhere. Why she looks different from the other photos of Peru? Just because she is in Lima, the capital. A metropolis, with buildings, lots of transportation, a different way of dressing (shoes, high heels, jeans, shirts, …) It’s obvious you will see a contrast between those photos.
But in the end, the message is simple, Peru its not just a regular country, its a country where you can find history everywhere, behind their buildings, their people, their traditions and their food. I think we should be thanking Scott for getting a space in his busy schedule to come to Peru and show the world the beauty and diversity of our people and traditions because now our country will also start being known for its fashion and not only for its gastronomy and turistic places.
I want to start this time leaving one point clear, I’m not trying to be a troll here, instead I’m looking to make a constructive criticism to your work as an artist. I respect you as a creator, you have a great anthropological sensitivity on documenting ‘the world of fashion’.
My critique is not against the actual woman in the photo, but to the representation you make of peruvians. Presenting inequalities as invisible or inexistent is one form of legitimation of them, many other commenters have talked about neocolonialism, I would suggest you to look up for that subject. In your comment you asked me to educate you, I don’t really understand what you mean by that but if you allow me another suggestion, take a look for Marcos Lopez TED Talk, he’s an argentine photographer that put on dialogue elements from northamerican pop art and southamerican ancient culture.
I stongly believe that Malu is right when (s)he said that the woman in the photo is “creative, hard working and a wonderful person” my point here is that there’s a lot of people living in precarious conditions that are as very creative, hard working and wonderful as her, but that won’t do anything to keep them away from explotation.
Where are the limits of a street photographer/fashion blogger responsabilities? Did you knew that many of the ‘traditional’ clothes wore in many communities are a direct result of brutal imposition during the colony? Of course you don’t have to know that, but how should you response to that fact?
All Scott really can do is present what he sees. ONLY that. This is not a documentary. He has fulfilled that responsibility. If Scott were to go out of his way to show us that Peru is economically divided, he would get people like you telling us he was condescending. So he really can’t win here. But the point is to show us Scotts journey, not the “truth” of Peru. Keep in mind that there are many different people here, with many differing view points. Liberal, Conservative, Libertarian, and otherâ€¦ so it really rather impractical to push any political agenda here. People do not come to their political view points lightly, and showing then some pictures wouldn’t change anything, as the economics of Peru are well known. This blog is still devoted to art, not politics.
All Scott can do is shoot what he sees. His commentaries may not always live up to the historical or current reality, but what can you ask for? This is a fashion blog.
Moreover these are snapshots of Peru – whether its the luxury restaurants of Miraflores/ San Isidro or the Mercados of the Sierra or whether it is a woman getting out of a car in Center of Lima or a poor woman in a market in Urubamba.
Make your own judgements about inequality and unethical nature of this reality. I am happy that he has taken the time to show these realities because both coexist in Peru. This is something many people don’t understand about Peru and other parts of the Andes.
Malu April 23, 2014 at 5:55 pm
Sheâ€™s incredibly rich? Yes! I happen to know the sexy lady on the photo. Sheâ€™s rich because sheâ€™s creative, hard working and a wonderful person. I studied with her at University and witnessed the begining of her businness. She designs clothes made out of alpaca, finest cotton and other materials at AYNI Design Lab, but thatâ€™s not the end of the story. She also collaborates in a program held by the Peruvian State to train and help communities in peruvian sierra, mostly groups of women that live under very difficult conditions, to qualify them better to work and participate in the textile marketâ€¦ Sheâ€™s a rich person: sheâ€™s got good friends, tallent and loveâ€™s what she does!
Two points: first, it seems to me that suggesting this lady requires children to live below the poverty line to support her lifestyle is a cheap and baseless shot, and one informed by a misunderstanding of basic economics. Second, based upon Mr. Schuman’s photos of the last week, I would say “the poor” seem to be exceptionally well dressed, well nourished, and healthy, mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and physically. They look to me like calm, grounded, capable and very intelligent people.
I do not envy this woman anything that she has. Instead, the woman I aspire to be like, the one I think is most fortunate in life, is the elderly lady pictured sitting on the hillside with a colorful basket on her head–I think she was posted last week. She is magnificent.
What is lost in these class envy/economic inequality discussions is the fact that economic access is merely a means to an end–that end being a thriving life. And a thriving life does not require Louboutins.
She’s incredibly rich? Yes! I happen to know the sexy lady on the photo. She’s rich because she’s creative, hard working and a wonderful person. I studied with her at University and witnessed the begining of her businness. She designs clothes made out of alpaca, finest cotton and other materials at AYNI Design Lab, but that’s not the end of the story. She also collaborates in a program held by the Peruvian State to train and help communities in peruvian sierra, mostly groups of women that live under very difficult conditions, to qualify them better to work and participate in the textile market… She’s a rich person: she’s got good friends, tallent and love’s what she does!
She is a friend of mine and i can assure you she is a hard working woman with a great pair of legs, magnetic smile, the perfect hair (naturally!!!) and damn she’s got style, brains and the looks!!!
Great pic Adri!
I believe you just shot Latin AMerica as it is: a mix of both sides. Market pictures are lovely, and so this one.
Rich or not, she has style, and looks pretty to me.
In the last 10 years the line between classes, is growing more and more, here in Argentina (I’m Latinamerican, and I live in Buenos Aires), I saw this kind of things all the time, and you never get used to.
Love your pics, love your mix,
Would all of these comments apply were the photograph of a well-dressed, genteel man of Latin America? What is interesting, from a transnational feminist, intersectional perspective, is that when we come to the subjects of poverty, style, and women, and South America, there is this rush to defend the woman freely exiting the automobile. Even when the defense is well intentioned, it calls attention to the universal problem faced by women: the problem of existence.
I’m the girl on the picture and my name is Adriana Cachay. As this post has created quite some stir I would like to share my story with you to put things in perspective.
I was born in Lima but my parents are from the province Huaraz in the Andes. My grandmother was a dressmaker for the women of the region and that’s how she payed for my father’s education. She taught me about sewing and introduced me to the textile word of textures and powerful colours and combinations. She and many other women have been my inspiration and motivation for starting my own business with the objective of promoting Peruvian craftsmanship and positioning Peruvian products and the trade mark “made in Peru” as products of high quality and with added value in the tradition and story behind.
Together with my best friend and business partner Laerke (Danish of origin but Peruvian by heart) we have founded our brand AYNI (quechua for reciprocity – representing the filosophy of the andean communities). The vision for us is to encourage and promote sustainable and responsible fashion and production facilities, which benefits all parts involved in the value chain. We now work with more than 200 women in different parts of Peru and can see the empowerment and independence they gain from the recognition of ther work and crafsmanship. We also have a consultancy company AYNI Design Lab and are the first company enabled by the minstry of employment to certify textile artisans within differnt knitting techniques and thereby giving them recognitions for their labour skills and improving their work opportunities and conditions.
We have worked hard to achieve what we have today and motivated to keep developing and growing as a great responsibility lies on our shoulders. We do not come from rich families or have famous family name. We have knocked many doors and worked our way up by showing our work and creating results to get support of different institutions both local and international. Being an Entrepreneur is not an easy job, but with determination, passion and motivation to make a difference – prejudies and ignorance are the only obstacles .
I appreciate all the comments as the debate is important to put focus on the lack of information and knowledge about Peru and our people and reality.
I invite you all to get to know some of our work and the different programs and initiatives made by the Peruvian State to train and help communities in peruvian rural districts.
Thank you Scott Schuman for your support and ability to look beneath the surfface of people and their apperance. I really respect your work and opinion!
If I liked the girl on the picture (and obvious the picture too), now with her reply I like more.
Adriana: Congratulations for your excellent work.
Scott: I follow your site a long time ago and I’m glad you came to this part of the world. I hope you enjoyed my country.
im not gonna waste my time to make a fuzz on tons of ignorant responses i read here about this picture. I recently know Adriana and besides style, she’s a hard worker and i think Scott’s perception was beyond her looks.Sometimes people magnetism goes beyond style and Scott portrayal of his “vision” of Peru is totally valid and diverse,so those who hide behind their computer must practice tolerance and pass their own prejudices instead on putting all in quick words.
100% agree with Adriana: Prejudice and ignorance are the obstacles. It is really disturbing to read such uninformed opinions, clearly based on prejudices of race or nationality.
Particularly Peru went through a catastrophe of misgovernment and deep crisis between 70 ‘s and 80′s, which led to an involution equivalent to 4 or 5 decades in almost every aspect of the country: Economy, Society, Politics, Security, etc.
Since 90â€™s Peru is on a path of growth, stability, consistent reduction of inequalities, increase in wealth (yes, wealth for the richest, but especially for the poorer, millions of them that now are â€śin the middleâ€ť, not only in the cities but in the rural areas), with more and better opportunities for all; of course there are still many things to change and improve, many that are still relegated (at least 6 million out of a total population of 30 million), but the reality is that the speed and volume in which the poverty has been reduced stills higher than the speed of wealth increase for the richest.
Thanks to hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs like Adriana (with particular success for her, due to the fact she is endowed with enormous virtues) this virtuous circle haven began to generate multiplier benefits for all, especially for those that never before had opportunities. Peru is a blessed land, and Peruvians should not be daunted by the ignorance, prejudice and even envy that some of the previous comments denote.
Thanks for showing a graphic testimony of Peru, some of those reflecting how this country is changing, growing and including more and more Peruvians to the train of development (not biased by appearance or superficiality).
I’m peruvian. I follow your blog long time ago, but I never write before. My english isn’t the best, so I’m going to try to express my point of view.
When I see your first images of Cusco I felt proud and full of emotion. And I felt the same thing when I see this picture of Adriana (just in case: I don’t know her).
I 100% agree with German and Jhelen: Peru is a multicultural and really diverse country. Nobody can really judge our national reality through Scott’s pictures. Those amazing photos are just a small sample of a very complex kaleidoscope. Here coexist the tradition and the modernity. And yes, there’s also poverty. But there’s some people like Adriana who are working very hard to preserve that tradition and create development. I hope to contribute myself with a grain of sand through my own work.
Thank you Scott for show the world a little of our diversity.
Beautiful picture Scott. Would like to extend this post i did yesterday on Ayni’s work. I had such an interesting conversation and exchange of ideas with Adriana and Laerke that it was only natural to post their vision on my blog. The consistency of their various projects is nothing but admirable.
I just think we need more initiatives like theirs, with that kind of passion, strategy and sustainability in order to express our fashion potential to the world.
Great legs, beautiful shoes, lovely dress, gorgeous woman. The picture is lovely. To have a conversation about poverty, that is for another forum. If you mix everything together all the time, how can you live? Everyone on this post will eat more than once today. Well, give to charities then you can enjoy your meals. That is what I do and more.
Thank you, Scott for great work.
After reading the debate, I definetely want ti express what Adriana means to me as a entrepreneur woman like her . She means ambicious , motivation , certainty and a goal all people should aspire .
I know Adrian since long time ago , I know the beginning of her work and the successive progress she has made. Without a doubt, I can confirm that she is a very well prepared , intelligent , hardworking and kind women with many qualities and abilities that has allowed her to reach and achieve her goals and actual success .
I agree with many of the statements from Adrianaâ€™s post, as well as the background story she describes in her biography. With pride I want to express that her story is real and very inspiring for many of the entrepreneurs women I know as well as she does. Especially, for all of them that agree to leave their comfort zone to search for their dreams and stablish a project of life which most of the time will benefit not only them self but society as well. All those persons are called “entrepreneurs ” I belong to them , I know how is the process , I know the struggling and the satisfactions of the journey and for those reason and more I definitely congratulate and affirm that I
need more successful cases like Adriana.
Perhaps I want you all know that here are also other similar cases in Peru where people overcomes race, social level, or economic status and have became successful cases due to perseverance, hard work mostly . Some of them with access to better opportunities such as going to a college or university and be able to apply all the knowledge learned through her carrier, some others with other experiences and abilities but despite all opportunities due to economic issuues what pays the success is hard da lily work and don’t defeat .
As said, Adriana is a very entrepreneurial and visionary women. I am very proud of her and everything that she has achieved with her team.
Go forward Adriana, continue to demonstrate to the world that Peru has talents!!
To the photographer and the model: Why do you need to justify yourselves to a troll? Adriana is Peruvian because she was born in Peru, she has a Peruvian I.D., and she would be Peruvian even if she were the most caucasian, blondest, tallest daughter of a Danish couple with the bluest eyes in the world, or if she were the meanest, rudest freeloader in Peru.
Nobody owes the troll an explanation. He’s nobody to say that the subject is not Peruvian enough, or not socially-aware enough, or not poor-the-children enough.
There are people who think that if you are not dark-skinned, surnamed Mamani and travel in Combi, you are not Peruvian.
So there are children living under the poverty line? SO WHAT. It’s not the photographer’s job to correct this, not even highlight this. His work is to take pictures of what he sees, and that’s it.
Gino – what makes this person a troll? Because they don’t agree with you? Or with everyone else? Quit being butthurt just because not everyone buys into the opinion of ONE standard of beauty (aka white European) 24/7. Peru deserves to have all of their different types of beauty shown on this type of blog including the indigenous original people of Peru. And not just shown in their villages, in actual MODELING SHOWS.