Memories on/for a future reconciliation


Saturday, April 13, 2019, 1:00pm to 5:00pm


CGIS South, S216, 1730 Cambridge Street

Renato Cisneros, author of “La distancia que nos separa”
José Carlos Agüero, author of “Los rendidos: Sobre el don de perdonar” (via Skype)
Lurgio Gavilán, author of “Memorias de un soldado desconocido”

Alexandra Hibbett, Universidad Católica, Perú
Alberto Vergara, Universidad del Pacífico, Perú

The wounds inflicted by the protracted civil war Peru faced between 1980 and the early 2000s have proven hard to heal. After twenty years since the violence ceased, vast sectors of the population have yet to acknowledge their responsibility in the conflict, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s recommendations are contested and remain unattended. As a result, the country continues to struggle to move past the fractious and precarious political landscape inaugurated by Fujimori, a landscape which has continued to operate despite the unusually high level of lack of political representation. 

Therefore, Lima’s literary scene recently caused a stir when a number of novels and “self-fictional” works by direct witnesses of the internal conflict appeared.  They have ignited perhaps the most engaging discussions about reconciliation in Peru to date. Published coincidentally in 2015, two acclaimed novels/memoirs by Renato Cisneros and José Carlos Agüero–both addressing their memory of the conflict through the interrogation of their parental figures, each situated at diametrically opposed sides of the political spectrum—entered into dialogue with Lurgio Gavilán’s devastating memoir published a few years earlier (2012): Gavilán was a child soldier who fought for Shining Path and the Peruvian army before becoming a priest and an anthropologist later.  

In this highly anticipated gathering, writers Renato Cisneros (“La distancia que nos separa”), José Carlos Agüero (“Los rendidos: Sobre el don de perdonar”) and Lurgio Gavilán (“Memorias de un soldado desconocido”) join literary scholar Alexandra Hibbet and renowned political scientist Alberto Vergara to engage in a discussion not only of their respective works but, more importantly, on what they have learned from each other through the capacity of literature to open new spaces for reconciliation.

**This talk will be held in Spanish.

Presented in collaboration with Mahindra Humanities Center, Weatherhead Institute of Politics, Cultural Agents Inc., and Art Life Laboratory