“Photography is a struggle. Time is our enemy and can be defeated if frozen at the right moment, which prevents something that has to do with you from disappearing forever.”
This is one of the phrases that immortalized Spanish photographer Cristina Garcia Radero and served as a motto to her profession.
El Peruano photo archive contains 13 million pictures that exemplify Cristina’s idea perfectly.
To many, visiting the said archive is the closest thing to a journey throughout the time, which takes us back to the past to know ancient but also recent events of a country rich in history.
To Raul Borda, expert at this area, working at the archive involves keeping the memory alive and recalling memorable and magical times that are gone. “We have photographs dating back to 1930 as well as 19th century pictures. The oldest depict open-air and landscape style images of Lima and Callao,” he said while inspecting the numerous archives.
As Borda reviewed the oldest snapshots, it was inevitable to ask him which are his favorites among the vast number of possible options, due to their historical and social significance. The expert shared an interesting selection.
"There is a spectacular 1930s photo depicting Dos de Mayo square to its fullest extent. Besides, there is a panoramic shot of Port of Callao taken early last century after its upgrade during Leguia’s term in office."
Borda knows that listing key moments of Peru’s recent history is a bold practice. In spite of that, he enumerates some important moments kept in the photo archive.
“The 1970 earthquake in Ancash; the police strike of April 5, 1975; the national soccer team performance in that year, when Peru won the Copa America; Pope John Paul II visits in 1985 and 1988 are some of the moments captured by photographers at that time including Tolentino Alegre, 'Chino' Dominguez and Rolando Angeles,” he expressed.