Cristina Fraire photographs isolated mountain shepherd communities in the highlands of Argentina’s Córdoba province. These communities exist without roads, electricity, or telephones, and the wool, skins, and meat of sheep are its only economic resources. In the barren and rocky terrain, the ancient connections between generations remained unchanged until urban ways were introduced by tourists and solar-powered televisions. Fraire’s pictures reflect this blending of the ancient and new, but also assert the distinctive features of the shepherds’ natural landscape.
Born in Buenos Aires in 1949, Cristina Fraire studied psychology at the Universidad de Buenos Aires and art at the Sociedad Argentina de Artistas Plásticos. In 1989, Fraire completed a study on health care in the suburbs of Buenos Aires for the organization Médecins du Monde [Doctors of the World]. Soon after, she began work on this series about the shepherd communities of Cerro Champaquí and Pampa de Achala, for which she was awarded a fellowship from the Fondo Nacional de las Artes. Fraire has had one-person exhibitions in Argentina and the U.S. She was also awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1997.