Sismos79 (2013 – 2017), derived from the Spanish word for “earthquake", is a multi-layered project using a combination of fieldwork, archival research/collection, re-photographic strategies, staged portraiture, and sound recordings. The project examines the intersection between my own life and the turbulent period in the history of Lima, Peru circa 1979. 1979 was a time of seismic changes in Peru’s capital, a transitional period between the military dictatorship of the 70s and the onset of the Shining Path’s guerilla war in 1980. The city’s population swelled and was transformed by a massive influx of rural migrants from the highlands and eastern jungles; and my birth mother was among them, one of many young women uprooted during that tectonic demographic shift. That’s almost all I know about her. Like her peers, she was vulnerable in a city that was a violent, dangerous place. 1979 was a year that created orphans. In SISMOS79 I set out not to recover some stable, “authentic” identity hidden by the circumstances of my birth and adoption, but rather to pull together archival materials, found photographs, untold narratives, and images in an effort to reclaim, and invent something like a psychic history of that year, and locate myself within it.