From the New homeland to the Bicentennial
Images of Peru 1921-2021
Jorge Villacorta and Carlo Trivelli
The exhibition reviews, through photography, some of the social, economic, political and cultural processes of the last hundred years that have shaped Peru, which today celebrates the bicentennial of its independence between conflicts, challenges and achievements.
The celebrations for the first centenary of independence marked the decade of the 1920s, during which President Augusto B. Leguía promoted the modernisation of the country. Leguía promoted the modernising project he would call La Patria Nueva (The New Homeland). It was a period of economic growth, centralism, political conflict and cultural ferment.
The opposition between Hispanism and indigenism as ways of conceiving the country underlies much of the history of the last century and contemporary Peru. That tension would be expressed in the social and political processes that shaped Peru today, such as the Agrarian Reform promoted by General Juan Velasco Alvarado, the migration from the countryside to the city and the war unleashed by Sendero Luminoso.
Territory has always been a determining factor in the conception of the country in its fractures, a source of wealth and depredation, as well as of natural disasters.
Cultural diversity, a product of regional heterogeneity and migration, is perhaps the most characteristic factor of Peruvian society. The cities that emerged from migratory processes have become a melting pot of expressions and traditions.
The recognition of the rights of women, in a society marked by strong gender differences, has been another major challenges of the last century. Progress has certainly been made, but there is still a long way to go.
The fervours of Peruvian society are another of its characteristics. Different forms of religiosity, ancestral traditions, gastronomy and football are some of them.
Now that we celebrate the bicentennial of our independence, civic movements take on special importance. We are still a country under construction.