The exhibition served as a space to experience reconciliation with our past

Saturday, November 5th, was the last day of the exhibition “Peace and Active Nonviolence Now!”, but… its impact makes us foresee new days.

The exhibition began on 19 August and culminated this last Saturday at the National Museum of Anthropology, Biodiversity, Agriculture and Food – MUNABA, directed by the sociologist and long-time humanist Julio Alfaro. Among archaeological pieces such as ceramics, textiles and lithics, the museum opened its doors and gave space not only to the past but also to the present and the future.

The appointment was for 11 a.m. but the organising team, made up of Erika Vicente, Doris Balvín, Rocío Vila and César Huapaya arrived an hour earlier to, as always, finalise details of the final day (from Chile, Riccardo Marinai would do the same and Cecilia Pachas was unable to attend). This routine was carried out for more than two and a half months, during which time they transmitted the experience to young students, teachers and the general public.

A day of unexpected memories

The group of friends arrived and, like the various groups that visited the exhibition, we were all ready to give ourselves to the day.

At Station 1, Rocío surprised us with an unexpected request: “close your eyes and try to remember if you ever felt violated, and where in your body you experienced it”.

Suddenly, the graphic display made sense and we were immersed in our memories… the ones we might not want to evoke. The first station was challenging indeed.

Station 2

“If your choice was the path of inner rebellion, you will face profound fears, you will be accompanied by disheartenment and suffering will become evident, you will walk through dark areas, disconnected from yourself and your profound quests.”

And the walker began the journey. Even with the emotion at the surface of our skin for what we experienced in the first station, the exhibition challenges us even more, to confront those tragic memories and those who caused them, what would be the sense of such a dangerous request?

“As a traveller facing the dark night… advance on firm paths, take the path of resolution and illuminate your shadows that every now and then poke and prod you. As one who awakens from a profound sleep, proclaim… over your ghostly shadows”.

Is it perhaps to put the humanising look on the one who hurt us, to face our memories and to rebel to continue to maintain that profound pain, which still harbours wounds?

A crux in the throat is the unmistakable sign that something is happening to us internally, or maybe it is just part of a personal experience, whose time has come, so often postponed.

And yet, something liberating happens when I see my aggressor when I have him in front of me and I can tell him what I think and feel; when I release all pain and understand that complex passage of a part of my life.

Station 3

“After so much walking and retracing, life emerges as victorious in the one who overcame the darkness and its innermost pain”.

Minutes afterward, after facing the memories and the pain and trying to reconcile myself with part of my past, the sample offers me a “lifeline” to complete this involuntary but infinitely necessary process that I am facing today.

“Take the path of internal unity, that which harmonises your thinking, feeling and acting, that which distances you from pain and suffering. Then, a gentle joy will rise up within its interior”.

With Reconciliation, I move from a dark, dark place to a light-filled, liberating one. And yet, I realise that it is still only the beginning of a long road to travel…

The exhibition “Peace and Active Nonviolence Now!” formally ended. However, its transcendence is extraordinary and today, new groups are emerging that will soon experience its powerful message and, perhaps, it will be the beginning of a rebirth in each of them.

Some reflections:

“For me this exhibition has been a gift because we are looking for what to give more to others”.

“This chain of violence – in which I have been violated or I have violated – is possible to break”.

“It is the opportunity to be able to connect with oneself and to recognise that we live moments of violence, but we can also get out of those mechanisms”.

“To be able to know that there is always a tomorrow, full of hope for a better life, that it is possible!

“The exhibition is a pretext for one to find these responses in oneself”.


The exhibition “Peace and Active Nonviolence Now!” is an initiative of the Centro de Estudios Humanistas Nueva Civilización in convergence with the actions of World without Wars and Without Violence – Peru.

There are various spaces where we can continue to look for responses: The Message of Silo, the Humanist Pedagogical Current – COPEHU, the Centre for Humanist Studies, World without Wars, Pressenza and personal development workshops are organisations that are doing work in the world. Just look for us!