Lima 2010

This is the first entry for the trip I am taking to Lima to photograph people who work in circuses on the outskirts of Lima.

I am asked by friends why I want to do this.

I think there maybe one association with a memory from my childhood in the 1950’s. When I was about 9 or 10, I went in Southern Illinois to a county fair, the closest thing to a small itinerant circus, not the Barnum and Bailey type spectacle. I remember the faces of the people who worked there, carnies, mainly, and the freaks in the freak show. My brother and I each bought 25 cent tickets to go in that sideshow and I remember the sad man in an animal skin loincloth who had elephantiosis. We looked at each other shyly. I was mortified.

That’s an early fascination.

I also realize that small circuses are disappearing. In Lima there used to be hundreds and now there are only a spattering, due in part, I think, to the entertainment TV provides.

I like to look at pictures of circus entertainers, of magicians, mimes, and puppeteers.  I also love pictures with umbrellas and blimps in them but I cannot tell you why. They draw me in.

I am taking a Toyo 4X5 field camera, a Hasselblad medium format camera, both for black and white film. I am also bringing a digital camera and printer to give color photos to those whom I photograph. For me there has to be some reciprocal exchange.

At 61 I want to do everything I want to do before I am too old to do it. I do not want to live too long, so there is a lot to cram into the next twenty years. I am not trying to be morbid, just clear as to the impetus.

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liese ricketts

photographer, closet writer, mother, grandmother, hermit.