This dissertation considers visibility and multispecies care among photography tourism workers in Cusco, Perú. Within a tourism industry that appropriates Quechua peoples while simultaneously excluding them, those Quechua women and their llama, alpaca, and sheep companions and kin who illegally participate face violence and displacement by municipal police officers. I trace what it means for Quechua women to make themselves visible in Cusco city’s tourism industry and for Quechua women and animals to care for one another as they do so. Specifically, I argue that multispecies care occurs in relational visibility, which I define as mutual seeing that enables humans and animals to know another other as kin. I argue that relational visibility occurs while humans and animals walk with one another in-ayllu (in-community) and through pacha (spacetime).
In the first section, I argue that by participating in photography tourism and photographic refusal, Quechua women work to make themselves visible and known as Indigenous women on their own terms. Making themselves visible further means making their relationships of care with their llama, alpaca, and sheep companions and kin visible and known. I then show how municipal police officer coopt and weaponize care in order to control and displace Quechua women, thus reinforcing racialized and gendered hierarchies in Cusco.
In the second section, I argue that multispecies care is gendered and reciprocal, meaning that as Quechua women care for their animal companions and kin, so too do their animal companions and kin care for them. I further demonstrate how central to multispecies care is relational visibility.
In the final section, I argue that not only is multispecies care reciprocal, it is also cyclical. This means that relational visibility and multispecies care occur, and thus bonds of kinship are created, as women walk together in-ayllu (in-community) through pacha (spacetime). In other words, Quechua women and animals come to see and know one another and create kinship bonds by cycling together through time and space.
By participating in photography tourism, Quechua women visualize and enact an otherwise where they and their animal companions and kin are included in Cusco city on their own terms. This dissertation not only sheds light on how Indigenous women navigate and refuse a neoliberal multicultural nation-state, but also how multispecies care and kinship are central to their refusal.