August 7 – September 29, 2008
Legacy Maltwood (at Mearns Centre – McPherson Library)
This exhibtion contains photographs by UVic student, Ashley Akins. The images document rural life in Peru’s Patakancha Valley, where textile weaving is an integral, but endangered concept.
After volunteering in Peru to brush up on her Spanish, Akins noted that the tourism in the country was both a blessing and a curse. Travellers scoop up their intricate, colourful products but in the haste to sell the work of their elders, younger people are not learning the skills to keep the traditional craft alive. In response to this she create the Mosqoy Foundation (which means “to dream” in the communities’ Indigenous language) which has a three-fold motto-to “educate, preserve and connect”. It accomplishes this through two main projects: the Proyecto Colibri (Project Hummingbird) and Banco de Jovenes (Youth Bank).
Under the former, Akins buys the woven products and sells them at three times the purchase price. One third of the proceeds is returned to the weavers, another third goes to projects chosen by the communities, and another third goes to the Youth Bank to fund 20 students annually to attend post-secondary studies in Cusco, the nearest city.