While Peru’s landscape is often celebrated for its rich history, the series Fatherland shifts this perception and offers a counter narrative, exposing viewers to the scars born from decades of a relentless epidemic of hate. Through extensive research from within the gay and transgender communities, we document the sites of hate crimes throughout Peru’s cities, deserts, the Andes, and deep within the jungles of the Amazon. Although no assailant is shown, the series underscores the dangerous effects of patriarchy and intolerance, and examines how these constructs create the toxic environments that lend little worth to LGBTQ lives. Each image stands as a denouncement of the blatant disregard for non-conforming lifestyles that challenge the agendas of religious and political leaders who continue to enable the cycle of violence by intentionally oppressing the LGBTQ community or dismissing and ignoring their needs.
Due to the extremely violent nature of these assaults, we believe the energy of those whose lives have been taken remain at these locations – and the brutality of each event has scarred the land. For Peruvian audiences, these terse accounts of brutality place an unsettling mirror reflecting the dark underbelly of their own culture. For the rest of the world, the photographs serve to unmask a prevailing apathy toward the social injustices and everyday struggle for safety and survival that many LGBTQ-identifying populations endure.
It is common for Peru’s victims of homophobic and transphobic persecution to have their stories absent from public record and delegated to anecdotal remembrance. Fatherland seeks to mitigate this void. To that end, each image is captioned with the name of the victim, their age, and the year, location, and nature of the assault. The series began in 2014 and is ongoing.