Since the 1980’s, Peru has experienced decades of corruption, terrorism, xenophobia and forced displacement, many at the hands of others and unfortunately even ourselves. These traumatic years have sent the Peruvian community into an epidemic that the world can no longer ignore. According to Peru’s 2019 mental health reform assessment published by The World Bank Group and the Peruvian Ministry of Health, 1 in 5 Peruvians have a mental health disorder directly correlated to the decades of violence, conditioning and intergenerational trauma. As Peruvian people in the diaspora, our healing must begin when we are able to take accountability and acknowledge how our individual actions, both in the past and present, are a detriment to our own community. Through this restorative justice lens, is how Alegria Peruanx was born. Created by Queer Peruvian visual activist Connie Chavez, Alegria Peruanx is a multimedia project dedicated to archiving, educating and unifying the Peruanx community within the U.S. diaspora. Our goal is to document and archive the narratives of marginalized Peruanx people through multimedia storytelling in order to facilitate accessible educational conversations. We have hosted two successful audiovisual exhibits and talkbacks with the 33 portraits, 5 silenced audio narratives and 10 video interviews we have collected over the last year. These narratives are realities that allow Peruvian people to deeply consider and unpack their own unchecked privileges and prejudices, so that we may break free of a colonial mentality that is hurting people in our community right now. These narratives touch on immigration, racism, anti-Blackness, resilience, sexuality, homophobia, terrorism, love, displacement and much more. Please follow us on instagram to view our digital exhibit @alegriaperuanx
To bring Alegria Peruanx to a city or university near you, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. To support this project please consider donating
to our venmo at @AlegriaPeruanx.
On November 30th, 2018, creator of Alegria Peruanx Connie Chavez, hosted a healing photo-exhibit and in-conversation experience where she shared the narratives of 15 different displaced Peruvians from historically oppressed communities. Chavez took the audience through a though-provoking conversation of re-education, accountability and solidarity, touching on how Peruanxs, in Peru and the diaspora, are experiencing a mental health epidemic. According to Peru’s mental health survey, 1 in 5 Peruvians have mental health issues from the effects of decades of terrorism, xenophobia, and corruption in Peru. Her goal is to empower people with knowledge, inspire folks to work to dismantle systems of oppression, and strengthen community with love and allyship. Over 130 people packed the exhibit to witness these pressing issues be addressed through the eyes of the Peruanx community.
Event photos courtesy of Evelyn Martinez @xicanayork