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Corinna Howland

Third Prize

Fieldwork in the Southern Peruvian Andes

The Andes in Motion

Spectating: Cooperative members absorbed in a friendly volleyball tournament held in honour of the organization's first official anniversary (Corinna Howland, 2017)3rd Place: Tío Vicente pulls the reluctant third-place prizes (two alpacas) back to his group of dancers following the village’s annual dance competition (Corinna Howland, 2017)Divine Ambition: Before mass, Tío Pablo makes a list of his family members for the local priest to bless (Corinna Howland, 2017)My fieldwork explored the moral and affective intersections of village sociality, economics, agriculture, and global capitalism in the Southern Peruvian Andes. I lived in a small village off the Pan American highway and worked primarily with a fledgling quinoa cooperative of 30 members founded in late 2014, who were confronting a post-quinoa boom market. Situated at the juncture of institutional and village life, my fieldwork involved following cooperative members through lengthy meetings, several unsuccessful quinoa sales, and an NGO-sponsored programme of adult education, while also accompanying villagers during their daily routines of caring for their animals and tending their fields, and other kinds of village activity. Bound together as much by necessity and circumstance as by choice, village inhabitants were doggedly committed to working together despite at times antagonistic social interactions.

From top right:

Spectating: Cooperative members absorbed in a friendly volleyball tournament held in honour of the organization’s first official anniversary. Volleyball is usually considered a woman’s sport in the Andes, but as it was a special occasion several men were game enough to play – adding to the interest, and hilarity, of the match.

3rd place: Tío Vicente pulls the reluctant third-place prizes (two alpacas) back to his group of dancers following the village’s annual dance competition. The competition was canned the following year in favour of an exhibition, due to concerns that the unequal distribution of prizes was generating too much envy among different sectors of the village.

Divine ambition: Before mass, Tío Pablo makes a list of his family members for the local priest to bless. He claimed to be one of the few remaining “real believers” left in the village, and had unofficially appointed himself guardian of the only stone cross, but was criticized by others for being overly “ambitious” in his faith.