For decades social researchers have explored indigenous knowledges and practices, yet decisive input by Quechuan peoples in the research process has remained minimal, nearly non-existent. This non-participatory approach to research about Quechuan peoples, cultures, and languages has reproduced asymmetric relationships between subject and expert, enabling a prescribed set of research which obscures Andean methodologies. For informative results which truly represent Andean pedagogies, couple decolonial thinking with photovoice, a visual participatory methodology rooted in Freirean thought. Participatory research prevents the disregard of cogent, pre-colonial ways of knowing.
This paper conceptualizes Andean pedagogies, indigenous-mestizo practices that emerged during a photovoice study with Andean college students in Cusco, Peru. Acting as collaborators as well as participants, these students helped determine the scope, goals, and actions of this work. Andean pedagogies such as muyu muyurispa, tinku, and kuka akulliy reconfigured this photovoice process and disrupted coloniality processes which obscure research with Andean peoples. The practice of decolonial thinking during participatory research projects disrupts asymmetric, deliberate, or unintentional power relations between participants and investigators.