Forum: Ayacucho, Peru

The Forum – a day of Hay Festival events – took place at the Centro Cultural Universidad San Cristóbal de Huamanga in Ayacucho, Peru, on Wednesday 7 November 2018. All events were free to enter.

Ayacucho, Peru

Programme – Wednesday 7 November


Programme launch at the Centro Cultural, Universidad San Cristóbal de Huamanga

[HF1] 10:15 –11:15

Bicentenary of Peru: Huamanga City of Culture

Speakers: Patricia Mendoza, Director of the Casa López Antay; Felipe López, Director of the El Tercer Ojo Cultural Group; and the architect Patricia Navarro Graú, specialist in architectural heritage and conservation.

Huamanga is a city that has an invaluable material and immaterial heritage, as well as vibrant cultural industries. From their different perspectives, our three guests share their visions of how an interactive city, one that is pleasant for its inhabitants to live in, should be. At the same time, they situate the province within the national and international scene as a site of interest in terms of cultural tourism; and they discuss the necessary conditions for Ayacuchan culture to boost the social and economic development of this city, and possible paths to follow.

[HF2] 11:30 –12:30

Literature in indigenous languages

Víctor Tenorio, Dante Gonzales and Sandra Falconí

Indigenous languages, the ones that were used before Spanish arrived, and which are still alive in Peru, represent the expression of a collective identity as well as a different way of understanding and describing reality. For centuries, indigenous languages have been considered as dialects (varieties of a language) and they have been treated as inferior to Spanish, without considering their great contribution to our cultural heritage. Writer Víctor Tenorio, publisher Dante González and lecturer Sandra Falconí talk about this matter.

[HF3] 14:30 – 15:30

The oral tradition

Ana Cristina Herreros in conversation with Arturo Pinedo and Luis Núñez

Ana Cristina Herreros is a Spanish linguist, writer and oral storyteller. She cultivated her fascination with the oral tradition when she was doing her doctoral thesis on literature for those who neither read nor write, and in 1992 she began to tell stories to toddlers, children and young people and, later, to deaf-mutes, prisoners, the insane, retired people, teachers and librarians, in all kinds of settings. She has published seven books, including Libro de monstruos españoles (National Prize for Best Published Book, 2008), Geografía mágica (National Prize for Best Published Book, 2010) and Cuentos populares de la Madre Muerte. After visiting the VRAEM area, Ana Cristina shares with the public her experiences in a community that is so representative of Peru, proposing ideas and strategies that can help rescue our own history. She talks to Arturo Pinedo and Luis Núñez, both Ayacuchan social researchers.

[HF4] 15:45 – 16:45


Santiago Roncagliolo, Juan Carlos Pérez, Urbano Muñoz and Elizabeth Lino

Memory is like a palimpsest, a manuscript that still has faint writing from a previous time on its surface, writing that has been removed in order to make space for what comes afterwards. Exploring collective memory, the one we recognize as ours, despite differences and divergences, is a necessary matter for building a society on trust and mutual understanding. Santiago Roncagliolo is a Peruvian writer based in Barcelona, and is the author of Red April (Alfaguara Prize), a novel that tells the story of a hardworking public prosecutor dedicated to investigating a supposed resurgence in terrorist activity, and in the process discovers the dark and violent past of soldiers close to the Fujimori government. He will talk to the BBC journalist, Juan Carlos Pérez, whose investigations relating to the internal war in Colombia, his native country, have persuaded him of the need to establish lasting mechanisms of conciliation that put the people at the heart of the process. This event also features the Ayacuchan anthropologist Urbano Muñoz and the Cerro de Pasco writer Elizabeth Lino.

[HF5] 17:00 – 18:00

Regional film production

Daniel Mordzinski, Katy Nole and Ladislao Parra

The vitality of Ayacuchan film production reveals a powerful need to tell stories, to see oneself in the mirror of the past and to look to a future in which the needs and desires of the community prevail over those of the individual. How should stories be told: fiction or documentary, short films or feature films? These matters will be discussed by the well-known photographer Daniel Mordzinski and the Ayacuchan filmmakers Katy Nole and Ladislao Parra.

[HF7] 18:15 – 19:15

Bicentenary of Peru – The country we can imagine

Santiago Roncagliolo, Tarcila Rivera and Carlos Añaños, chaired by Juan Carlos Pérez

Three Peruvians take on the challenge of 'rethinking' the country in view of the approach of a special date: the bicentenary of Peruvian independence. In conversation with the BBC journalist Juan Carlos Pérez, Ayacucho businessman and philanthropist Carlos Añaños, Tarcila Rivera and writer Santiago Roncagliolo exchange ideas and points of view about the country as it is, the country that we are building and the country that we want to celebrate.

Other activities – Wednesday 7 November

Photography Exhibition: The country we can imagine

Centro Cultural, Universidad Nacional San Cristóbal de Huamanga

7–30 November 2018

The country we can imagine is an exhibition covering the perspective of well-known Peruvian photographers, helping us to imagine together the country we want to build and to celebrate during the Bicentenary. Curated by Cecilia Durand.

Live Art: Sarhua Boards

Centro Cultural, Universidad Nacional San Cristóbal de Huamanga

7 November

Artists Pompeyo and Moisés Berrocal will mark the Ayacucho Forum in the most interesting and unique way: on the Sarhua Boards, one of the greatest artistic expressions of the community of Sarhua, in Ayacucho department. These painted boards tell family histories and show scenes of daily life.

Sponsored by Patronato Pikimachay

7.15pm–8.15pm, Plaza de Armas

Literary Improvisation Championship: Ayacucho Book Wrestling 2018

This is a live challenge that combines literature and spectacle, demonstrating how enjoyable literature can be. The writer-wrestlers challenge each other in a bout of improvised stories in front of the audience, who will be able to enjoy some of the city’s new literary voices.

Sponsored by TGP

9.30pm, Plaza de Armas

Closing Concert

Renata Flores, Ushpa and the best contemporary Ayacuchan musicians will perform for the audience as part of the Hay Festival Ayacucho Forum, to celebrate culture and great entertainment.

Sponsored by TGP