Accepted Paper:

Illustrating cinema in the Peruvian magazine Variedades  


Maria Chiara D'Argenio (King's College London)

Paper short abstract:

This paper investigates the relationship between cinema and modernity in Peru by analysing the textual and visual presence of cinema in early twentieth-century illustrated magazines.

Paper long abstract:

At the turn of the nineteenth century, cinema, alongside other new technologies, produced crucial changes in the ways in which people experienced, represented and imagined the world in which they lived. Though keeping important links with nineteenth-century visual and entertainment culture, early silent cinema offered spectators new manners of perceiving time and space as well as a new sense of verisimilitude. In Latin America, as cinema became institutionalised, periodical press established itself as the core textual place for discussions about the new technology in terms of science, aesthetics, leisure, politics and culture. In the early twentieth century, Peruvian intellectuals used cinema as a metaphor for modernity while writers had already been incorporating cinematic devices into literature since the 1910s. Rather than focusing on the explicit theorization about cinema and modernity, this paper will investigate this latter relationship through articles, columns, photographs, caricatures and other illustrations that appeared in popular illustrated magazines, in particular in Variedades. It will also explore the magazine's uses of photography (for example, in the reproduction of crime or the Kodak advertising), in order to examine certain aspects of the rising of mass culture in Peru.

Panel P11
Visuality, illustrated popular magazines and modernity in Latin America