Author Date


Degree Name



Theatre and Media Arts


Fine Arts and Communications

Defense Date


Publication Date


First Faculty Advisor

Brad Barber

First Faculty Reader

Scott Christopherson

Honors Coordinator

Dean Duncan


Documentary, Filmmaking, Ethnography, Media Arts, Peru, Cusco, Quechua, Language, Language Preservation


This thesis and creative project aspire to follow the well-worn path of documentary filmmaking. The written portion of this thesis includes background information on Incan history and the Southern Andean language of Quechua that informed and developed into my film, Qosqo. The short documentary is a hybrid between traditional and experimental non-fiction filmmaking, exploring Cusco, Peru’s spirituality through the sage perspective of a native Cusqueñan woman, Norma Sanchez de Incaroca.

The film is a personal reflection of Norma’s experience with the Quechua language, a historically marginalized and currently endangered language. Her reflections are framed within the context of Cusco’s complex past, paralleling culturally relevant themes with her personal life. These themes include the Incan influence in Cusco before and after colonization, the social implications of Quechua culture during the Spanish conquest, and the significance of Incan ruins in contemporary Cusco.

Balancing the personal with the communal, Qosqo examines the value of the legacy of the Inca through Norma’s efforts to foster and preserve Quechua. Ultimately, Qosqo asserts that we each have an individual responsibility to cherish the places and people from which we come.

This project’s primary outcome is to highlight an individual’s efforts to cherish and preserve the Quechua language and Incan culture. The film is founded on collaboration between the filmmaker and subject to ensure an accurate anthropological and culturally sensitive product. Qosqo has been translated into both English and Spanish, making its content available to both Spanish and English-speaking audiences.