Saturday, November 10, 2007


The Saturday photo, part II: Lima from the balcony of my apartment.

This is a view towards downtown, looking over the Campo de Marte from the district of Jesús María. The view is almost identical from the window over my desk, and I spend a lot of time watching people playing tennis or football down below. It's also always something of a lottery as to how many (if any) hills you can see in the distance through the city's characteristic haze. This photo's taken on a sunny and relatively clear day, but you can't see the slums rising up the hill on the left, and there's a hill on the right, out towards Lurigancho or La Molina, that's completely obscured.

During the 1980s, Shining Path set flames to mark out the hammer and sickle on these hills, to give the sense that they were besieging the capital. With the city in darkness, thanks to blackouts and sabotaged electricity pylons, the effect must have been pretty sinister. (Paloma de papel shows the guerrilla as they stage a similar scene in the highlands.) Somewhere in the trees to the far right of this shot is the "Ojo que llora" ("the weeping eye"), a monument to those killed and disappeared during the war.

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