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Date of Award

Spring 2018

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


LACS: Hispanic Studies

First Advisor

Priscilla Meléndez


Peruvian Theater: Memory and Violence in Yuyachkani’s Adiós Ayacucho

This research project examines the Peruvian theatrical and cultural group, Yuyachkani, founded in 1971, and how their theater, which incorporates traditional indigenous cultural practices, explores the violence in Peru during the 1980s and 1990s. They place a particular focus on integrating indigenous art and tradition because the majority of the violence occurred in Ayacucho, a prominently indigenous region, and the indigenous people were unevenly affected. Yuyachkani’s pieces are typically creative, meaning they are interactive and often performed on street corners or in other non-traditional theater settings. The purpose of most of their work is to bring to light the violence of the 1980s and 1990s by the terrorist group Sendero Luminoso and the government military fighting back. This project focuses in particular on the piece Adiós Ayacucho, first produced in 1990, about a disappeared peasant, accused of being a rebellion leader, and his postmortem quest to bring his body home to be laid to rest. The piece was then produced again at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 2001, where Yuyachkani worked with the commission to recognize the atrocities of the previous two decades. I will explore how Yuyachkani uses this piece to help the people of Peru cope with, and bring to light the violence, disappearances, and tension of the period. Adiós Ayacucho, in particular, is a representation of the many who were disappeared or killed, especially the indigenous from the region of Ayacucho where the worst of the violence occurred. The character’s search to recall his body and his identity is meant to help people recall and acknowledge, which is the purpose of most of Yuyachkani's work.


Senior thesis completed at Trinity College for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in LACS: Hispanic Studies.