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2019 Study Abroad in Peru: “Art and the Politics of Blackness and Indigeneity in Peru’s Past and Present”

August 13, 2019

“Art and the Politics of Blackness and Indigeneity in Peru’s Past and Present”

By visiting three different regions of Peru (Lima, Chincha and Cusco), this program offered students the opportunity to think critically about identity and diversity in a setting outside the United States. In particular, the program focused on the study of Blackness and Indigeneity in Peru in two forms: First, students studied artistic production both historically and through hands-on activities, including workshops in the plastic and performing arts with some of Peru’s leading artists: Jorge Miyagui, Jose Luis Palomino, Grupo Cultural Yuyachkani, Kimba Fa among others. Students examined how Afro-Peruvian and Indigenous populations have used artistic expression to negotiate and creatively reinvent identity over time. Second, students studied the histories of Afro-Peruvian and Indigenous communities since Spanish colonization, the forms of discrimination they have confronted, and the means by which they have resisted, challenged, and endured in a society where racism has long been pervasive. The course emphasized how this history of struggle has shaped the resilience of Afro-Peruvian and Indigenous populations in the present day. Students gained not only a deep exposure to Peruvian history, society, culture, and artistic production, but also a sense of how the politics of diversity and multiculturalism work differently in Peru and the United States.