Digital Interactive Platform for Dialogue and Memory-work in Peru

  • Wilson Vasquez, Goya (Principal Investigator)

Project Details

Description

Memory work is an important process in countries dealing with the aftermath of violent conflict. It matters for those involved directly or affected indirectly, for peace processes understood broadly as efforts to transform the way we collectively construct inclusive and democratic societies. Such transformative processes are built through promoting dialogues between established and alternative accounts of war and political violence, challenging the stigma that mainstream accounts typically place on relatives of ex-militants and on those engaged in social and economic justice movements. This challenging yet necessary enterprise is critical to facilitate dialogue, attain new understandings of a common past, therefore fostering national reconciliation and democracy building efforts. This project aims to contribute directly to such efforts through the development of a digital interactive platform, in Peru, a country still reeling from the impacts of a twenty-year old conflict, between 1980 and 2000. The consequences of the violations of human rights during the conflict still mark Peru’s political debates, with a highly polarising effect, which can only be solved by an effort to conduct a free and constructive dialogue on memory. This project will (a) digitise and archive ‘oral testimonies’ collected during the PI’s doctoral research, as the foundation for a second stage which will (b) design and set-up an itinerant digital exhibition and (c) open up a virtual space for developing further, and engaging with, memories and counter-memories of the conflict. The digital interactive platform builds on the PI’s doctoral research on memory with HIJXS de Perú, a group of young adults whose parents were ex-militants of an armed group involved in Peru’s internal war. There are several HIJXS or HIJOS groups in Latin America, working on the memory scenarios left by conflict and dictatorship. Peru’s HIJXS work to carve out space for their memories as ‘sons and daughters’ whose voices have been mostly left out of national dialogues, and therefore, out of the construction of peace. The digital interactive platform will leverage the impact of the doctoral research to support memory-work and build institutional capacity for peace and democracy in Peru and Latin America through digital research and digital activism that strengthens existing and builds new (cross-border) networks.

The project envisages three connected impact deliverables:

Impact deliverable 1 (ID1): A closed digital archive of the HIJXS de Peru’s stories and work
This output will build HIJXS’ capacity at the institutional level. It organises individual and collective resources, based on data collected during the doctoral research, in a range of multimedia registers: (a) testimonial narratives; (b) photographic and personal material; (c) short videos; (d) archival research material from newspapers and the database of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Impact deliverable 2 (ID2): A digital itinerant exhibition
ID2 will open the dialogue about the past within the Peruvian public. It provides an open access section of the platform where the audience can explore the HIJXS stories, previously hidden to them. HIJXS will curate the section in collaboration with the PI, in order to develop an itinerant exhibition of the stories that can be shared. The interlinked multimedia resources will be taken to different spaces (i.e. platforms of other HIJOS groups, universities, museums or galleries) to re-present the HIJXS stories and their collective memory-work for others to interact with in a non-linear way, enhancing the public debate.

Impact deliverable 3 (ID3): Interactive memory work via the digital platform
ID3 will strengthen the capacity of those involved in memory-work for democracy and peace building, and enable the wider public to enter the discussion about the past based on these new materials. It will encourage the public to upload their stories and archival materials that will enrich, nuance or amend the main narratives of political violence. Contributors will range from human rights organisations, other HIJOS groups from Latin America, researchers, activists and human rights groups interested in developing their own digital archive for their work (See letters of support). The platform will be accessible from multiple devices. The interactive section invites involvement beyond consumption of (counter)narratives, energising a plethora of stories with the aim of critical engagement for inclusive reconciliation efforts. The project envisages workshops with HIJXS to pilot ID2 curatorial process and with human rights organisations, communities of activists and researchers to better respond to their needs by testing the external use of the platform in ID3.

Layman's description

To build an digital archive and interactive platform based on the PI's doctoral research with partner organisation, in order to promote dialogue around memory and political violence.
Alternative titleDigital Archive/Platform for memory-work in Peru
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date1/08/1831/03/19