Final Report
Our Work
Regional Offices
Agreements & Norms
Finantial Information
Balance TRC
Sessions with Institutions
International Seminar
Public Hearings
Disappeared persons
Photograph Project
Photo & Video Gallery
Press Releases
PresentationYuyanapaq: To RememberWitnesses to the Truth

The Visual Legacy

“ In photojournalism the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has found an invaluable legacy to reconstruct, from the spiritual memory that the sight of the images brings, that history of ours than we shouldn’t forget nor abandon in oblivion...desolate and perplexed faces captured forever, and hands chapped from hard work in the small image of the missing family member, and like them other scenes that could have the same caption: let the horror be gone forever, the painful memories converted to hope; let life in Peru go on with solidarity and justice.”

Salomón Lerner Febres
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (CVR), through a recent effort to recover images from the period 1980-2000, has investigated almost 80 photographic archives countrywide, among them those of private collections, the press, news agencies, the Armed Forces, the Police, human rights institutions, vicariates and family photo albums. Commission member Carlos Iván Degregori has these thought-provoking words to say about this extraordinary legacy:

“ Among the Yagua people of the Amazon Jungle, knowledge (ndatará) is first obtained visually. To know things, one has to see them in dreams or during a trance through which the shaman enters the spirit world to consult the spirits about the enigmas of the case he is handling. In learned societies, it is no longer through these means that knowledge is obtained. However, in recent decades, the rapid development of audiovisual media has obliged us to reconsider the relationship among seeing, knowledge and power. Knowledge which comes from seeing is primarily related to intuition, sensations, and sentiments, which are not necessarily irrational or unscientific, and can actually expand the scope of our knowledge.”

So, as a part of their final results, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission feels that to get to the truth which they are trying to unravel, it is advantageous to do it with visual documents as well.

Image Bank: nearly 1700 photographs form part of a complete archive which individuals, the State, the academic community, social organizations, churches, Non Governmental Organizations, and the entire population will be able to access through the web page of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Photographic Exposition: “Yuyanapaq. To remember” This exhibition of a selection of more than 200 photographs from the Image Bank was held in Lima from August 9 until December 9, 2003. Similar photographic exhibitions were held in the cities of Ayacucho, Huánuco, Huancayo, Abancay and Cuzco, with 37 photos from the main exhibition.

Book of Photographs “Yuyanapaq. To remember”, has about 80 images extracted from the photographic exhibition. The value of these documents is that they can last through time and be transmitted to future generations.

The images contained in these three products reconstruct the history of those violent years, thanks to men and women who, equipped with cameras, decided to register the diverse aspects of the complex reality of the manchaytimpu, or “time of fear”. Many of these images had been ignored or trivialized. The majority of the incidents and protagonists had gone unnoticed or had been forgotten. To recover them and bring them once again to our memory, or register them for the first time, is part of the struggle for truth and reconciliation in which we are immersed.

This visual legacy remains for society as a whole with an encouraging assurance: The images don’t change, but the eyes that see them do.