This project seeks to trace back the construction of a hetero-patriarchal extractive system, characteristic of Peruvian nationalism built from the systematic oppression of womxn’s bodies and their territories.
The waltz “Y se llama Perú" (“And it’s called Peru”), by Peruvian composer Augusto Polo Campos provides the rhythm of the pieces. It is a song that references the extraction of oil and steel from our land, as a symbol of pride and is more widely known than our national anthem.
The womxn’s body is colonized as a territory. The bodies become control tools, spaces to master. This was clear in the 1980s, through years of systematic rapes at the hands of the Armed Forces, and then in the 1990s when the government of Alberto Fujimori executed thousands of forced sterilizations.
The lands exploited and devastated for the benefit of economic development mirrored these oppressions on women. Extractivism as a bio-political project understands the earth as a body to exploit. The industry extracts raw material until it is dry and the environmental impacts are irreversible. The man stands as sovereign. Culturally, women have a special bond with Mother Earth, an idea continually mentioned by ecofeminist thinkers like Alicia Puleo. Rocío Silva Santiesteban mentions how women weave links with crops, land, plants, food, and animals in her book “Mujeres y conflictos territoriales” (“Women and territorial conflicts”).
Women bleed land.
Most of the attacks on womxn’s bodies executed under governmental policies happened in the periphery of the country and were executed in specific regions. The four-piece series portrays some of the regions of Peru: Ayacucho, Junín and San Martín. The map of Lake Titicaca (instead of the region of Puno), with all the mythology that charges, defines the first verse of the song.
In a conference held in the Alianza Francesa (Lima, Peru) in 2017, María Ysabel Cedano García, Demus director, pointed out the relations between eco-territorial conflicts and the high figures of violence against women. It seemed that everything happened in just some regions. Understanding the importance of these territories is key.