What happens when concepts of ""truth,"" ""memory,"" and ""human rights"" are taken up and adapted by former perpetrators of violence? Peru has moved from the 1980s 90s conflict between its armed forces and Shining Path militants into an era of open democracy, transitional justice, and truth and reconciliation commissions. Cynthia Milton reveals how Peru's military has engaged in a tactical cultural campaign via books, films, museums to shift public opinion, debate, and memories about the nation's violent recent past and its part in it.
Milton calls attention to fabrications of our post-truth era but goes further to deeply explore the ways members of the Peruvian military see their past, how they actively commemorate and curate it in the present, and why they do so. Her nuanced approach upends frameworks of memory studies that reduce military and ex-military to a predictable role of outright denial.
Cynthia E. Milton is the Canada Research Chair in Latin American History at the Universite de Montreal. She is the editor of Art from a Fractured Past: Memory and Truth-telling in Post Shining Path Peru. Her coedited works include The Art of Truth-Telling about Authoritarian Rule and Curating Difficult Knowledge: Violent Pasts in Public Places.