Cañar Collection of Judy Blankenship

Colección de Cañar de Judy Blankenship

Object Details

Collection LanguageKichwa, Cañar Highland
Language PIDailla:119726
Title [Indigenous]
Language of Indigenous Title
TitleCañar Collection of Judy Blankenship
Collector(s)Blankenship, Judy
Depositor(s)Blankenship, Judy
Project/Collector Website
Description [Indigenous]
Language of Indigenous Description
DescriptionJudy Blankenship is a documentary photographer and writer who has lived and worked in Cañar, Ecuador for varying lengths of time since 1991, and from 2005-2022 six months each year. During that time, she taught photography in indigenous communities, published two books with University of Texas Press, and had three teaching/research Fulbright awards. With a Cañari colleague she has created Archivo Cultural de los Cañaris, a local database of photographs, recordings, videos, and documents that relate to the history of the region since the 1960’s. For this and for AILLA, she facilitated the collections of ex-Peace Corps volunteers in Cañar (1966-1968), as well as those of two Danish anthropologists, Eva Krener and Niels Fock (1973-77). Her collection at AILLA includes scanned images from her early work (1992-2005) and born-digital from 2005-2022, as well as audio and video recordings. Her physical collection will eventually be a part of the Benson Latin American Collection.

The collection provides a record of the Cañari culture and people of Ecuador through video and photographs of public ceremonies and events, daily life and culture, as well as posed portraits of Cañaris. In 2022 the newly reestablished indigenous university in Quito, Amawtay Wasi, initiated an agreement with Blankenship and the Archivo Cultural de los Cañaris to provide digital assets for their first archive of indigenous cultures of Ecuador.

The digital and digitized images available on AILLA are a subset of Blankenship’s much larger photographic collection.

The videos and digital photographs in this collection have been arranged into folders according to the cultural themes they depict. Other folders in this collection are organized according to their original format: audio cassettes, minidisc recordings, and various photographic formats. One folder contains recordings forming an oral history of the agrarian reform movement in Cañar in the 1960’s.

The preservation of this collection was supported by the grant PD-260978 from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed herein do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.