Meet our Engagement Fellow

There is a red cliff face beneath a blue sky that stands against a blue shore line. There are shacks in the foreground. The sun is setting.

We are delighted to announce that Dr Victoria Vargas Downing has recently joined the Moving Mountains team as an Engagement Fellow. Victoria will be bringing her expertise in heritage, contemporary art, and landscapes to the project.

We asked about her relationship to the land and how her research intersects with Moving Mountains.

“I grew up in the Atacama Desert in Chile, between the mountains and the Pacific ocean. Despite my Western education, the desert and the mountains have played fundamental roles in my way of thinking, feeling, and being. I have many memories of travelling with my family through the desert and seeing geoglyphs in the mountains made by the ancient Caravanas.

I have a background as an art historian (University of Chile) and a curator. My childhood in the Andes has oriented my research on heritage towards decolonial perspectives. I’m interested in challenging ontological assumptions about heritage through contemporary art. I see in these entanglements the potential for healing conflictive narratives and for the re-emergence of conflicting memories.

Moving Mountains, for me, represents the opportunity to develop and nurture my relationship with the mountains. It provides new forms of understanding the significance of these landmarks. At the same time, it is a chance for me to give something in return to the Andes and UK, places that have let me call them home.”

Welcome, Victoria! You’ll be hearing more from her soon.