Afternoon at the Trevi Fountain.

[Genius Loci] June 2023

Friends, Italy was unusually wet, but it wasn’t bad enough to dampen my spirits in Rome, Florence, and Venice.1 Most of my time in Italy was spent working, though at night and on my free time, I found myself doing what I love: drifting alone through the crowds, with a camera, observing. I know writing about the traveler as flâneur is a bit tired these days, but I also can respect the fact that not all travelers enjoy or experience solitary walks in foreign places....

31 May 2023 · 3 min · 624 words · Jeremy Bassetti
A Taxi Driver Rests in Cochabamba, Bolivia.

[Genius Loci] May 2023

Friends, Last month, I all but ignored the narrative section of The Hill of the Skull (which I’ll refer to as THOTS below) and turned my attention to image editing and sequencing. In photobookland, image editing doesn’t refer “image processing” using software like Photoshop and Lightroom. Image editing is the tougher job of selecting images. I came back from the Andes with over five thousand images. Three thousand of those photos were taken in Quillacollo during the time period that corresponds with THOTS....

30 April 2023 · 5 min · 995 words · Jeremy Bassetti
Lake Titicaca Cerro Calvario View

Ceremonies on the Shores of Lake Titicaca

Drifters, A green tourist bus grumbled and hissed to a stop by a large, white anchor on the shore of Lake Titicaca. A group of travelers — some with unkempt, dreaded hair, khaki hiking boots, and brightly colored backpacks — staggered off the bus and settled into lounge chairs facing the lake. They pulled their coats tightly and summoned a server to provide them with steaming cups of coffee. I, on the other hand, walked north along the lake, passing a row of boats and towards a footpath that would lead me around Copacabana’s sacred mountain: Cerro Calvario....

14 April 2023 · 5 min · 1031 words · Jeremy Bassetti
Palm Trees Under a Storm.

[Genius Loci] April 2023

Friends, After some helpful comments from Reader 3 and Reader 4, I have finished Draft 15 of The Hill of the Skull (which I’ll refer to as THOTS herein). The story/essay/travelogue/memoir section now has around 7,100 words. The story feels like it is going in the right direction, though it is deeply personal and ends on a dark note. This all feels right — but I must say that I am also feeling a bit vulnerable, not just because of the personal nature of THOTS but also because of the public nature of the crowdfunding campaign....

31 March 2023 · 4 min · 758 words · Jeremy Bassetti

Photography Projects as Research Projects?

Dear Drifters, I met Rosa standing in front of the Templo de San Ildefonso in Quillacollo. She and a group of photographers — a syndicate of photographers, according to the logo on their matching vests — were taking tourist photographs of pilgrims who visited during the Festival of the Virgin of Urkupiña. After taking a photos of pilgrims standing in front of the church or its altar, the photographer would print it on the portable Epson printer they schlepped around with them....

14 March 2023 · 5 min · 922 words · Jeremy Bassetti