A Humanities Portfolio

Grasping for Permanence Through Visual Representation


I was inspired by the concept of a Chullachaqui from Embrace of the Serpent in Professor Luis’ unit. In the film, Theo, a non-indigenous person in search of Yakruna, shows Karamakate,  the last member of an Amazonian tribe that has been exterminated, a photograph of himself. Karamakate claims that it is not him in the photograph by explaining that everyone has a Chullachaqui, an identical looking figure that is empty and hollow.

Below, I have inserted my own photographs of people and included my own representation of these images through color editing.

The truth of impermanence leads to the desire to grasp at permanence. Photography is an attempt to grasp at permanence through realistic images; however, representations, alterations, and interpretations all ultimately lead to an impermanent definition of what is captured. These are images of people I know, I was there to take the image, yet the representation of these moments in time, these bodies in time, are vastly different from their actual moments. Regardless, they still capture the exact details of the moment: the colors shown are all colors in the original image. Their prominence is simply altered by my choice to strip the saturation from other colors. Some images have no color at all, and are also accurate representations of some part of their respective moments.

Visualizing Trauma

This piece is one of my attempts to visual part my own trauma: how do hands (interactions) define the human body? How do hands make me feel, and how does the desire for interaction with others bring my body further into the guise of permanence? Through interaction with other people, I often find more meaning in myself and my own identity/existence as a body, and I felt as though my interaction with hands in particular has influenced the identity of my trauma.

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“the main, central, or principal part”

“body.” 2020. (19, December 2020).

[noun | plural]
“the branches of learning…that investigate human constructs…and concerns as opposed to natural processes…and social relations…”

“humanity.” 2020. (19, December 2020).