Between 1980 and 2000, some 70,000 people were killed in Peru as a result of an internal armed conflict. The majority of those were indigenous Quechua speakers.
Post-conflict Peru continues to grapple with its violent past.
While doing research in the field for his University of Northern British Columbia Master of Arts degree, Kirk Walker spent two weeks in 2013 collaborating with 10 individuals in the Humananquiqua community of Ayacucho who used digital cameras to illustrate their memories of the conflict through participatory photography.
Walker’s research explores the pivotal role of memory in reconciliation and transitional justice in Ayacucho, a former epicentre of violence.
The resulting conversations during Walker’s fieldwork reveal not only places of violence, hiding and escape, but also of community resilience and empowerment through storytelling.
Walker will talk about his research during a special presentation entitled: Landscape and Collective Memory in Post-Conflict Ayacucho, Peru: Narratives and Photography of Survivors this Thursday, March 7 at Exploration Place at 7 p.m.
The presentation, part of UNBC’s Anthropology in our Backyard Series, is free and open to the public.
“For me, the two primary take-aways of this research were the collective memory of traumatic experience is more than a monument on the landscape, it’s a transformation of identity and that narrative storytelling through photography has an incredible power to heal,” said Walker.