Bolivia has produced many talented painters. In the 17th century, Melchor Pérez de Holguín, an influential artist, founded the Potosí Indigenous School of Painting. Some of his students, such as Joaquín Carballo, Gaspar Miguel de Berrio, Nicolás de los Ecoz and Manuel Córdoba, also became famous artists.

In the 1930s, an Aymara miner named Alejandro Mario Yllanes began painting murals that depicted Andean history and beliefs. He was later exiled by the government. Other distinctive Bolivian artists include painters Roberto Mamani Mamani, Alfredo La Placa, Edgar Aldorado and David Dario Antezana, the sculptor María Nuñez del Prado and the ceramicist Mario Sarabia.

Bolivia is known for its beautiful weavings. Every region has its own special designs and colours. Many of the designs have been used for thousands of years. Some have been found on objects from the ruins of Tihuanaco.

Bolivian authors include Bartolomé Arsáns Orsúa y Vela, who wrote about the conditions in Bolivia's mines during the colonial era. Ricardo Jaimes Freyre wrote about indigenous issues. Renato Prada Oropeza wrote Fundadores del alba (The Founders of the Dawn), which describes the experiences of a guerrilla fighter and a conscripted soldier. Let Me Speak, the testimony of Domitila Barrios de Chungara, a miner's wife, informed the world about the conditions in Bolivian mines during the 1970s.

   Did you know?
The Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes, author of the famous novel Don Quixote, Man of La Mancha, was a candidate for mayor of La Paz in colonial times.
A more recent work, Morder el silencio (Biting Silence) by Arturo von Vacano, tells the story of a journalist who is imprisoned for his views. Famous Bolivian poets include Franz Tamayo, Adela Zamudio, Jaime Sáenz, Pedro Shimose and Eduardo Mitre.

Bolivia has produced some excellent movies and documentaries. The Blood of the Condor (1969), directed by Jorge Sanjinés, portrays a poor community driven to revolutionary consciousness by exploitation. Another of Sanjinés's films is Ukamau (So It Is), produced in 1966, about the vengeance of an Aymara Indian after his wife has been murdered. A recent comedy, Cuestion de fé (Question of Faith) by Marcos Loayza, was released in 1998 and has won several international film prizes. It is about a gambler and two friends who take an image of the Virgin Mary to San Mateo in the Yungas.

Bolivian music is popular around the world. Groups such as Los Kjarkas have introduced the world to the haunting sounds of the zampoña (pan flute), the quena (flute) and the charango (an instrument similar to a ukelele).