Aesthetics of Poverty

Challenging the Fictitious Separation Between Indigeneity and Modernity




Indigenous representation, Andean textiles, Indigenous women, Modernity's other, Neo-colonial oppression


Indigeneity is usually framed as modernity’s other. It is a narrative that confines Indigenous peoples to a place of deprived marginality or exotic romanticism. This perception is especially prevalent in mainstream visual representation of Indigenous people. In this photographic series, I seek to challenge the dichotomy between tradition and modernity by overlapping seemingly disparate elements such as traditional textiles and modern architecture. I started this exploration by mimicking early 19th century ethnological photography and current neoliberal multiculturalist imagery. In both cases, I use my own body, as an Indigenous woman of Aymara origin, to explore the mechanisms through which historical heritage operates simultaneously as emancipatory resistance and neo-colonial oppression.


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Author Biography

Pamela Gomez, CREAM, University of Westminster, United Kingdom

Pamela Gomez is a Bolivian visual artist and doctoral researcher based in London. As a recipient of a Techne AHRC studentship with CREAM, University of Westminster her thesis: “An Indigenous gaze: looking through contemporary Indigenous visual representations” addresses issues of race, identity, and representation of Indigeneity in the contemporary image. She has contributed to projects and exhibited nationally and internationally including: The Chaco Ra'anga Project, The World Seen by Latin American Women, Tate Exchange, and Birkbeck’s Institute for the Moving Image.


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How to Cite

Gomez, P. (2023). Aesthetics of Poverty: Challenging the Fictitious Separation Between Indigeneity and Modernity. Archivo Papers, 3(2), 85–99.