Start Submission

Reading: Between the liberators and deactivators: Place, power and protest in Lima’s memoryscape

Download

A- A+
Alt. Display

Special Collection | Colección Especial

Between the liberators and deactivators: Place, power and protest in Lima’s memoryscape

Author:

Daniel Willis

Independent scholar, GB
About Daniel

Daniel Wilis researches and writes on the themes of space, violence and memory in Peru’s internal armed conflict (1980-2000). He has previously published on digital memory projects in Memory Studies, and on the commemoration of Peru’s prison massacres in the Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies. In 2018, he completed a PhD in History and Latin American Studies at the Institute of the Americas, University College London, supported by a PhD Studentship from the London Arts and Humanities Partnership. He currently works in policy research and advocacy for the economic justice campaign group Global Justice Now.

X close

Abstract

Late 2020 saw a wave of civil disobedience in Peru, with young protestors calling for radical change in public spaces heavily coded with militaristic, colonial, patriarchal imagery. Yet this nothing new in Lima. Despite attempts by the government and tourism industry to cultivate an image of Lima as the historic and gastronomic centre of South America, artists, activists and social movements have regularly used public space as a battleground in which to contest this image through acts of protest, civil disobedience and commemoration of Peru’s internal armed conflict (1980-2000). In this article, I examine the historic symbols and narratives embedded within Lima’s memoryscape, and how these are contested and undermined by acts of protest. I will then draw on two examples of public commemoration of the internal conflict, demonstrating how competing narratives of political violence are prioritised differently in Lima’s public space, while pointing to ways that protest and commemorative acts can reinforce, or undermine, competing narratives of Peruvian nationhood.

Resumen: Entre libertadores y deactivadores: Lugar, poder y protesta en el paisaje de la memoria en Lima

A finales de 2020 se produjo una ola de desobediencia civil en Perú, con jóvenes manifestantes que pedían un cambio radical en los espacios públicos fuertemente codificados con imágenes militaristas, coloniales y patriarcales. Aunque esto no es nuevo en Lima. A pesar de los intentos del gobierno y de la industria turística de cultivar una imagen de Lima como centro histórico y gastronómico de Sudamérica, los artistas, activistas y movimientos sociales han utilizado regularmente el espacio público como campo de batalla para impugnar esta imagen mediante actos de protesta, desobediencia civil y conmemoración del conflicto armado interno de Perú (1980-2000). En este artículo, se examinan los símbolos y las narrativas históricas incorporadas al paisaje de la memoria de Lima, y cómo estas narrativas son impugnadas y socavadas por actos de protesta. A continuación, me baso en dos ejemplos de conmemoración pública del conflicto interno, demostrando cómo las narrativas de la violencia política que compiten entre sí se priorizan de manera diferente en el espacio público de Lima, al tiempo que señalo las formas en que las protestas y los actos conmemorativos pueden reforzar, o socavar, las narrativas de la nación peruana que compiten entre sí.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.32992/erlacs.10894
How to Cite: Willis, D. (2022). Between the liberators and deactivators: Place, power and protest in Lima’s memoryscape. European Review of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, (113), 181–199. DOI: http://doi.org/10.32992/erlacs.10894
45
Views
32
Downloads
Published on 30 Jun 2022.
Peer Reviewed

Downloads

  • PDF (EN)