Everything is Beautiful Around Here: An Interview with Paccarik Orue

Photographs by Paccarik Orue

Text by Sahara Borja

I often think about the significance of the names we were given. I think that mine predestines me to live alone in some great expanse forever. I think that some we play into and some may only come into focus later.

I searched around for some time trying to find the significance of photographer Paccarik Orue’s name, which I know to be of Quechua origin. That there were limited online resources whose accuracy I doubted was only half the problem. At most, I only ever found fragments of his name or fragments of words. On one online Quechua dictionary site I found the words “pakakuy,” “pacha,” “p’ajpaku,” “p’akikoj,” “pakgarin,” and “pakkarin,” which, respectively, translate roughly to “hiding oneself,” “earth, world, time,” “vagabond/magician,” “fragile, breakable,” “daybreak, dawn,” and “sunrise, to get up.” Could we, instead, blend these words together to encompass “Paccarik?”

If we carry through with this little game we could look at Paccarik as a constellation of these, and many more traits, constantly tugging at each other. And when we got to know him better, we might begin to understand him, as, yes, a well-grounded traveler with a vagabond spirit and magician’s spark for whom photography serves as a delicate two-way mirror and as a consistent fresh start. Paccarik is more than the sum of his etymology, of course – but poetic, still – that this idea of eternal daybreak, this “pakkarin” of sorts, is the life-affirming backdrop in front of which he has set his camera, and the motifby which he has chosen to live his art.