Memories from the other side

1 February 2016

The Place of Memory opened its doors to the Peruvian public at the end of last year as part of an effort to socialise, at least to a limeño public, memories of victims in the 20-year long war between Sendero Luminoso and the Peruvian armed forces. According to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (CVR), some 70,000 people – mainly Quechua-speaking peasants caught in the murderous cross-fire – lost their lives in this conflict. Many more were displaced. The report of the CVR, published more than twelve years ago, stood as a monument to a bloody period of history that, for many Peruvians, now seems a distant memory.

But what about memories from the other side, from those involved in the Peruvian military as the agents of violent acts at the time. This is the topic of a seminar on 10 February to be given by Cynthia Milton from the University of Montreal. As she puts it “the domain of culture is where Peru’s memories over the recent past are being waged most strongly” in view of the inability of the CVR to frame its report as a “national account”. The seminar draws on a recent book on how the military’s account of the period of violence is colouring debates over human rights.

The seminar will take place at the UCL Institute of the Americas at 5.30pm (51 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PN). Those wanting to attend should pre-register but there is no charge. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/seminar-counter-memories-military-cultural-interventions-in-post-shining-path-peru-registration-21010905183

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    The Peru Support Group exists to promote social inclusion, sustainable development and the observance of human rights in Peru. To that end the PSG highlights shortcomings in observance of established norms, whether international or local in nature, in its research, advocacy and publications. In so doing, it underscores the relationships that exist within the political system, how institutions work, and the effectiveness of policies that aim to reduce poverty and inequality within the context of sustainable development.

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