Monday, September 24, 2012
TERRENCE McKENNA: "Ideology always paves the way toward atrocity."
PHOTOGRAPHER'S JOURNAL: If one knows the history, it's hard to look at monuments such as this one to, "the heroes of August 10th, 1809," in the Plaza de la Indepencia, in Quito Ecuador... hard to look at it without reflecting on the world today. (You can read about the events of August 10th here.)
And further back in time's jungles, the events of our world and the struggles of 1809 seem linked to the day in 1539, a year after Pizarro had executed the Inca, Atahualpa, when Atahualpa's general razed Quito by setting fire to the Inca Palace, rather than surrender it to the conquistador, Almagro.
However, the city already had a long history then. Won by Atahualpa's father Huayna Capac in his northward conquests, it had eventually become the home from which he ruled the Inca Empire, setting off wars of succession upon his death, between Atahualpa and his Cuzco-born half-brother; they were wars that left the Inca Empire divided just when it needed to be unified against the Spanish.
Tangible ruins of those times lie in the Inca foundations under the colonial buildings, but the city's name brings us further still to the struggles of the Quitua people who ruled here until conquered by Huayna Capac. How are these spaceless Quitua halls connected to all of the other ruins through which our spirits wander?