The aim of this paper is to advance some ideas about the politics of culture in Peru in order to problematise the general idea that ethnicity has not been a mobilising force for public action. In order to do so the paper discusses the concept of ethnicity and presents a brief review of ethnic relations in Peru as well as of the ways in which ethnicity has been imagined, lived and strategically brought into the field of politics.
The underlying argument to this discussion is that ethnic identities constitute a site of strategic contestation, and that in Peru ethnic exclusion has mainly been contested through a cultural politics of everyday life, in which public forms of expressive culture are important means of giving expression to, as well as to accomplishing, this aim. Drawing on some case studies, it sets out how the cultural politics of everyday life has worked throughout the 20th century, and the forms it now takes.
CRISE Working Paper 46, 50 pp.