In 2003, the Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission reported that 70,000 people had been killed in the country during the conflict between the Peruvian Armed Forces, the Shining Path, and other terrorist organizations. The precept of the Commission became: 'A country that forgets its history is condemned to repeat it.' The idea of making the country 'remember' guided many of the Commission's initiatives, including a ground-breaking photo exhibit entitled 'Yuyanapaq,' a Quechua word translated as 'in order to remember.' But what does it mean for a country to remember? How do we remember (collectively)? Margarita Saona examines the mechanisms activated by art and memorials built to commemorate traumatic events at the social level. By examining images, metonymic invocations, the use of proper names, auratic crime scenes, built environments, and digital outreach interventions, Memory Matters in Transitional Peru seeks to establish some of the cognitive and emotional responses that make us incorporate the past suffering of others as a painful legacy of our own.
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