Museo Itinerante de Arte por la Memoria
Museo Itinerante de Arte por la Memoria (2009, Peru), interdisciplinary collective
Museo Itinerante addresses the history of political violence in Peru from 1980 to 2000. This mobile, interdisciplinary, cultural association engages the public in interventions and street exhibitions to help communities reflect on the traumatic past, acknowledge themselves as a post-conflict society and imagine a more just future.
Report from the 2014 Prince Claus Awards Committee
"Museo Itinerante de Arte por la Memoria (2009, Peru) is a citizen intervention project that enables Peruvians to give voice to the recent history of social and political violence as well as begin to imagine a more just future. It works in a racially divided context where state institutions have not managed to bring accountability and justice, particularly for relatives of more than 15,000 mainly Quechua and Aymara people who remain missing.
A collective of young artists, an anthropologist, a documentary filmmaker, a sociologist, a historian and a lawyer, Museo Itinerante organises exhibitions, awareness workshops and participative interventions in public spaces. It collaborates with human rights associations and relatives of victims, and works mainly in marginalised and middle-class areas of Lima, as well as travelling around the country to reach a wider audience.
Museo Itinerante brings evocative art and history exhibitions onto the streets, into schools, churches and neighbourhoods. It creates spaces where men and women can identify, actively engage with and communally share their knowledge of the past and their griefs. Participative events, often involving people in contributing their stories or creating an artwork, are held on public occasions such as Independence Day. For example, on the day officially marking the 8th anniversary of Peru’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (2001-03), in Lima’s central plaza the group installed an altarpiece with a 100-metre cloth made of the photos and names of victims of state violence. Through the personal words and images added to it by relatives of the victims and the disappeared, this artwork, The Altar, has become an important repository of national memory.
Museo Itinerante de Arte por la Memoria is awarded for publicly confronting the legacy of state violence, refusing the corruption and denial of memory; for taking art to the people and creatively using the arts to enable people to openly express and share their experiences and traumas; for bridging language and class barriers and confronting discrimination and racism through reflection and debate; and for effectively drawing attention to the need to address the injustices of the past in order to move towards a healthy democratic society."