Iván Thays will discuss the process of writing his 2008 novel, updating this with current information about this writing practice. In this novel, a white middle-class character travels from Lima, the capital of Peru, to Ayacucho, a rural region in the Andes where widespread human rights violations occurred during the bloody internal conflict (1980-1997) between the Peruvian government and insurgent organizations such as the People’s Guerrilla Army (armed wing of the Shining Path) and the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement. As a result of this confrontation, there was an estimated total of 70,000 civilian casualties, mostly indigenous people of underprivileged background killed both by the Peruvian army and the insurgent groups. This is why we speak today of structural violence targeted to certain populations defined in terms of social class, race and ethnicity, and gender (thousands of women were subjected to sexual violence as a result of this conflict). Peru has, as many postcolonial societies, a long and painful history of racism, classism, and sexism. In Thays’s novel, the encounter between the character and the citizens of Ayacucho, mainly a woman who has endured and survived abuse, poses difficult questions that the author will discuss with us here at Middlebury College.
- Sponsored by:
- Rohatyn Center for Global Affairs; Spanish Department