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Viewpoint: Self-Construction, Vernacular Materials, and Democracy

Building: Los Bestias, Lima, 1984–1987
Dorota Biczel

Buildings & Landscapes: Journal of the Vernacular Architecture Forum,
Volume 20, Number 2, Fall 2013, pp. 1-21 (Article)
Published by University of Minnesota Press

For additional information about this article

Access provided by The University Of Texas at Austin, General Libraries (12 Mar 2014 02:00 GMT)

D orota B iczel

Viewpoint: Self-Construction, Vernacular
Materials, and Democracy Building
Los Bestias, Lima, 1984–1987

A stark, dark form intrudes upon the blank, almost white background of the sky (Figure 1). Out
of the solid blackness that occupies the entire
lower quarter of the image, four upright torsos
emerge, melded with their support, looking almost like sculptural busts. The two on the right
are frozen in seemingly pensive poses, as their
arms appear to be tightly clasped around their
chests. The two on the left become nearly indistinguishable from the vertical poles surrounding
them. A piece of flapping, torn cloth is stretched

between the four forms that extend upward, cutting the picture plane. The image evokes a flattened silhouette of a makeshift, storm-battered
sailship, captured cruising against the bright
sun. One thing is certain: even if the figures look
stoic, the material forms within which they are
embedded manifest signs of fatigue, wear, or
incompleteness—ripped, twisted, flawed geometries tied with a string. Whether these are pirates or survivors, their destination remains unknown. Perhaps because of the association with
Figure 1. One of
the installations
from Los Bestias’
project D
­ es-hechos en
arquitectura, December
1984. Campus of
Universidad Ricardo
Palma, Santiago de
Surco, Lima. Courtesy
of Archivo Bestiario.



” “architects with dirty faces. (6) El carpa teatro del puente Santa Rosa. on the other.2 Between 1984 and 1987. an amorphous.Figure 2. for me this image points to the quality of a “pirate urbanization. the ship and the precariousness of the construction.” imbricated with the imperfect construction. and the military forces of the state. are not urban squatters. showing major communication arteries. (2) Deshechos en arquitectura. (3) Denuncia por la vida. It profoundly affected the lives of ordinary people and the options of young architects alike. 2.1 These “pirates. I trace how the interventions of Los Bestias rear­ ticulated the meaning of the term “democracy. informal architectural interventions on campus and in various sites of the Peruvian capital (Figure 2). (5) La semana de integración cultural latinoamericana (SICLA). realized a number of anarchist. caused irreversible changes in the material and social fabric of Lima. who have constituted the major challenge to urban policies all over the planet. and cheap. (4) Rockacho. fluctuating group of students at the university.” typical of the exploding metropolises of the so-called Third World. and (7) Lima– Utopía mediocre. led by Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path).4 The armed conflict between the Maoist rebel groups. they earned the nicknames “architects-masons. on the one hand. no .” and “kings of trash.”3 The group’s activities occurred during the bloodiest period of the Peruvian Internal Conflict (1980–2000). Because they built them with their own hands. Los Bestias’ interventions indicated are (1) Primer esquisse del bestiario. but a bunch of young architects who studied at the Lima-based Universidad Ricardo Palma in the early 1980s. calling themselves Los Bestias (The Beasts).” Through their projects Los Bestias responded to the dwindling possibility of making even a mod- Rímac 4 6 Cercado de Lima 7 Torres de San Borja 5 2 Santiago de Surco 3 Callao 1 Miraflores 0 2 |  B UI L DI N G S & L A N DSCA P E S 20. using industrial discards. recycled junk. traditional construction materials (such as bamboo cane and reed mats). F A LL 201 3 500 1000 1. Taking the phrase “democracy building” as an architectural metaphor.500 m . Schematic map of the central districts of Lima. when the very concept of democracy was under assault as a result of extreme violence unleashed by all sides involved.

The Beast is any student who produces artistic. ‘What we want is to introduce in the context of the University the reality that exists outside of the bars of its perimeters. the collective articulation of the group’s proposals and their engagement with molding some kind of a community sharply distinguished Los Bestias from the inward-oriented. vernacular materials are two common threads that bring these projects together. we unite people who want to liberate the creative ability (the creative beast) that they already possess. anarchistic intervention into the university campus to collaboration with the municipal government and a theoretical urban­ istic proposal encompassing the dynamics of the Peruvian capital.10 As they stated: “We don’t consider ourselves a group. autonomous space for the fluid. It was just the stuff that was there.7 They range from a self-organized.6 On the other. Yet it also modified the modern stance in a crucial way: the architects did not act as experts but rather articulated their position from the perspective of praxis of the inhabitants of the city.13 The Urban Landscape of Lima in the 1980s Between 1945 and the late 1980s.5 Aligning their tactics with the evanescent nature of ordinary. On the one hand. For Los Bestias material was never inherently endowed with meaning.’”12 Therefore. and Lima–Utopía mediocre (1987) characterize distinct stages in the group’s trajectory. available at hand— the mundane stuff that could acquire a symbolic or representational value only through pragmatic and functional use in the collaborative process of the elaboration of specific proposals. who were of the generation associated with critical regionalism. The group’s attitude salvaged the critical. can be seen as harkening back to the prejudices associated both with self-construction itself and with its material forms. their number fluctuated between a dozen and forty and. similarly. teleological utopias of the discourses of revolution and modernization. its very name undermines shiny visions of the top-to-bottom-implemented futures promised by violent political regimes of the era. Lima—A Medio- cre Utopia. AND D EMOCRACY BU ILD IN G   | 3 . the group engaged in a productive effort to generate alternatives or antidotes to the unfolding social disintegration. their adversarial position was not just an expression of youthful nihilism but a call for the recognition of the radically new reality of the city—a reality shaped by extreme political violence and internal migration from the provinces into the capital. VERNACU L AR MATERIAL S. El carpa teatro del puente Santa Rosa (1986). liberatory promise of modernity and modern vanguards in which the emancipated self did not lose sight of a collective social horizon. and who wants to make it known. The ephemeral experiments and constructions of Los Bestias wedged themselves in between the eclipsing modernism promoted by the state and the rising Limeñan critical regionalism sponsored by a handful of upper-class private investors. SEL F-CONSTRU CTION. rather. the population of Lima skyrocketed from 600. The question of methods and materials is intimately intertwined with the problem of who and for whom. cultural. easily available. Los Bestias rejected totalizing.est life happen amid the escalating war between the Shining Path and the government. Los Bestias were never a formalized group or a closed collective. heterogeneous metropolis that the official policies could not control or contain. [or] social work. collective body in the making. even more. the radical affirmation of the grassroots—expressed through actions of self-construction and land invasion—worked against the modernist obsession with centralized planning by experts that drove the career of the president-architect Fernando Belaúnde Terry and the vast majority of his public policies during his fifty-year career. sometimes. What was important was the creative process of carving out the independent. everyday practice and asserting the value of self-construction.000 to over DOR OT A BI CZ E L. private concerns of their teachers. At the same time. We aim to unite with the cultural movement that is being born in Lima. The projects Des-hechos de arquitectura (1984). Self-construction and the pragmatic employment of recycled and cheap.9 If by the early 1980s Lima was an ­exploding.8 The poignant title of their last project.”11 They also consciously took up an oppositional stance against their institution: “We demonstrate our attitude of negation with our informal language and our anarchist position.

2.18 If the aspiration of the modern state was the total management of population. whose transparency. The guerilla group Shining Path took up arms to implement its Marxist-Leninist-Maoist revolutionary program.Figure 3. abandoned in favor of new suburban districts (Figure 3). centrally planned residential complexes in the capital and other cities—most notably. people flocked to the city and erected on its outskirts makeshift shelters along the dusty mountains.14 In the 1980s the bodies of these mostly Andean migrants turned into a battlefield on which two opposing factions of the Peruvian Internal Conflict waged a war in the name of ideological visions. no . his entire political career was built upon an architectural rhetoric. with its acute political. technocratic state. which compromised itself with its administrative ineptitude and its hard-handed turn against the populace. In search of reprieve. and hygiene would organize and order the ostensibly unruly. San Felipe and Santa Cruz in the 1960s and Torres de San Borja in the early 1980s (Figure 4).16 This volatile period. while unleashing its violence against the subversion. Quechua-speaking poor—­ ultimately B UI L DI N G S & L A N DSCA P E S 20. They also appropriated the dilapidating Historic Center. Photograph taken by members of Los Bestias in the process of preparing the urbanistic proposal Lima–Utopía mediocre. and other decision makers.17 The material act of taking over space—land invasion—brought into existence the barriadas of Lima. palpable mediums of such disciplining procedures was built form. Although these lofty plans collapsed elsewhere. in Lima. between 1979 and 1985 alone. 50 percent of whom lived in the squatter-origin settlements (known as barriadas or pueblos jóvenes) on the peripheries and 25 percent in the rental slums of the center of the city. which in its initial stages primarily consumed the provinces. which its traditional inhabitants. economic. filthy bodies and cohere them into a new and improved model social corpus. the upper-middle class. Courtesy of Archivo Bestiario. Although they were not entirely free from clandestine or institutional terror. then one of the most visible.20 The projects of the latter term were championed in an official . 1987.19 Both of his terms in office oversaw construction of new. targeted the easiest-to-identify “suspects”—the marginalized.15 A bloody war. exacerbated the rapid influx of the migrants into the capital. the number of the new barriadas grew from ten to forty-five. posing the main challenge of the second half of the twentieth century for architects. F A LL 201 3 taking the lives of almost as many victims of the conflict as the clandestine groups. Street-food vendors in the Historic Center of Lima. Arguably. luminosity. planners. they had a long life in Peru: the year 1980 was marked by the return to power for the second term in office of the president-architect Fernando Belaúnde Terry. and the solution to the problem of social housing was the constant of his platform. brought into sharp focus the failure of the oligarchic. This modern utopia endeavored to embody and reproduce itself through architecture. and the state. and social crises. 4 |  7 ­million inhabitants.

25 Even grand complexes like the Torres de San Borja could not come near to meeting the actual housing needs in the vertiginously growing megalopolis: there were more than 400. VERNACU L AR MATERIAL S. and resisted integration into preestablished patterns.21 Its title adhered to the vanguardist discourse of revolution. appropriated it. constructed on the bases and priorities that contradicted purist official tenets.” firmly rooted in the logic of an urban plan.32 What is problematic about such a formalist reading of architecture—and here.30 Its iconic example is the beach house Casa Ghezzi. unpredictable actor who did not fit into the spatial and ideological matrix of the Peruvian nation-state. Reprinted from Revolución habitacional en democracia: Plan de vivienda del gobierno peruano. Not the benign “wanderer who comes today and goes tomorrow. SEL F-CONSTRU CTION. The house is extolled for the use of indigenous. the unwanted stranger.23 In Peru a migrant from the provinces. 1980–85 (Housing revolution in democracy: Housing plan of the Peruvian government. Belaúnde’s relentless promotion and reproduction of “the principles of functionalism and rationalism. I echo Keith Figure 4. 1980–85). traditional ­materials—its spacious interior patios and ample porches overlooking the Pacific Ocean are shaded by large bamboo-cane structures—and evocation of the pre-Hispanic architectural forms of the Peruvian coast.24 She. implying both a radical break with the past (the San Borja Towers were supposed to open up “a new era in the history of Peru”) and the dependence of the very occurrence of that fracture on the social condition of democracy.” she polluted a neatly imagined fabric of the social organization of everyday life.31 It is one of the four homes built by Baracco in a gated community in the district of Lurín.26 Critiques of Belaúnde’s projects also pointed out formalist and stylistic shortcomings of the towers. 1985). DOR OT A BI CZ E L. Neighborhood complex Torres de San Borja. the programmatic drive toward development produced an unexpected corollary ultimately responsible for reopening rifts in the spatial and ideological matrix of the nation-states: the migrant. Award-winning shopping malls and headquarters of financial institutions that emerged during the decade are seen as examples of an inevitable turn toward rootless postmodernism and the assertion of a new power: neoliberal capital.”27 Finally. designed in 1984 by URP professor Juvenal Baracco (Figure 5).28 Peruvian architecture of the 1980s has been described.22 Yet already by the beginning of the second half of the twentieth century. accusing them of “the lack of freshness and quality” of the anterior housing projects and of being “dull groupings of blocks lacking in spatial organization. but the person who comes today and stays tomorrow. Lima. undermined the neat compartmentalization of the planned whole. some forty kilometers south of Lima. according to the most radical Marxist stance. inherently geared toward the middle and upper classes while leaving out those in most dire need.405 available units. 1980–1985 (Lima: Empresa Nacional de Edificaciones. She refused being administered and carved out her own space. were the prime means of capitalist production of urban space.29 The “better” incarnations of the architectural practice are categorized— rather credulously applying Kenneth Frampton’s term—as examples of the flourishing critical regionalism. and classified against the perceived failures of the modernism promoted by Belaúnde. an explosive element. a cholo. came to signify the aberrant. AND D EMOCRACY BU ILD IN G   | 5 . San Borja. she infringed on the design of the envisaged structure.000 candidates for the 2.publication with the telling title Revolución habitacional en democracia: Plan de vivienda del gobierno peruano. Yet the migrant’s needs and demands also highlighted the phenomenon of “urbanization without industrialization” and the complete inadequacy of centralized housing and urban-planning policies. critiqued.

many Marxist critics rebuked the official permissiveness that turned a blind eye toward and legalized informal processes. instead. However. Even though neither the state nor the scant investment capital would respond to the needs of the population.39 Nonetheless.Figure 5.”34 As a result. as such.”40 Adopting a tactic of land occupation and deploying vernacular and recycled materials that were available at hand. on the grounds of the Ricardo Palma University. the system and circumstances produced “the architects that could not practice architecture”—a paradox. the designer. or the project. responsible for its emergence in the first place. They undertook the actions necessary to constitute the kind of future that—unlike totalizing. “the indigenous” and “the local” were divorced and displaced from the people who most commonly relied on them. separated—both physically B UI L DI N G S & L A N DSCA P E S 20. Lote 5. La Barca Beach. Lima. no . This shift toward indige­nous materials in design can be seen as further ­reproducing and reinforcing the operative principle Incas sí. voices against self-construction dominated official discussions. On the one hand. The . On the other. remained unchanged and unscathed. abandoning the interest in large-scale. Malecón Jahuay. they were situated in a gated community. 2. 6 |  Eggener’s critique of critical regionalism—is that the very presence of a particular construction material is taken to mean something absolutely specific and the form of a building to signify with equal efficacy. Los Bestias began by realizing a number of informal architectural interventions. eucalyptus wood and bamboo cane. Lurín. Los Bestias chose to operate within the realm of their immediate possibilities. teleological utopias of either revolution or capitalist modernization—“could not be either known or designed. F A LL 201 3 and legally—from the larger concerns of the city.33 The appearance of local materials. because explicitly antimodernist—­ ­ tradition. Courtesy of Juvenal Baracco. the acute housing crisis deepened as the construction industry was stalled by the progressively worsening economic crisis and state initiatives were marred by corruption scandals. the efforts of migrants to provide any kind of roof for their heads were condemned as total chaos. futureoriented public plans in favor of a “psychological concern” with the “personal problems” of “the client. They criticized such policy as a reactionary solution that only exacerbated the problem while the existing superstructure. This has profound repercussions in terms of the social and public roles of architecture.”36 Hence. Designed in 1983. which they called esquisses. indios no (Incas yes. the context and the subtleties of their deployment and functions are completely disregarded. they also rejected what they saw as an ideology and rhetoric of progress. and used to enhance the leisure of the privileged class. perceived as an offense to “decent people. Baracco and his generation became disenchanted with a bureaucratic system that would simply not accept experimental prototypes for mass housing that used vernacular materials. Those materials were associated with poverty and backwardness and.38 Los Bestias: The Unmaking and Remaking of Architecture The political and economic reality of Lima of the 1980s denied young architects professional opportunities to exercise their craft. these architects turned to a new client base: an emergent affluent middle class. Juvenal Baracco.37 Simultaneously. constructed in 1984.35 Simultaneously. given the rate of urban growth. Casa Ghezzi. throughout the 1980s. in Baracco’s beach houses is equated with the return to a somehow more authentic and more noble—­ perhaps. Indians no)—the politics that glorifies the indige­nous past while ignoring (if not outright quelling) the realities of the indige­nous present.

and signs. AND D EMOCRACY BU ILD IN G   | 7 . VERNACU L AR MATERIAL S. parceled out by the grid of walkways and a parking lot. it decisively reorganized the space of the newly constructed Universidad Ricardo Palma campus in the district of Surco. September 1984. given his professional endeavors at the time.41 On the large. Perhaps somewhat ironically. It was an impromptu appropriation of the patio for an event. in an effort to compel the group’s peers and assert that the whole enterprise was working to “reveal their reality. Universidad Ricardo Palma.” pleaded.first esquisse took place in the turn-of-the-twentieth-century villa on the corner of Arequipa Avenue and Dos de Mayo Street in the Miraflores district in September 1984. underneath a canopy woven from colorful yarn (Figure 6). speaking of the role of architects and architecture in society. Miraflores. “Help us. and architecture. claiming the area for Los Bestias themselves. banners. Los Bestias created a number of installations that they insisted spoke of “their reality. Since the Department of Architecture did not have its own building at the time. 1984. Lima. Department of Architecture.” Each of these sculptural constructions was dedicated to a social theme that the group considered pertinent. women. realized between December 7 and 21. food. currently Centro Cultural Ccori Wasi. responded to the lack of a dedicated locale for the Department of Architecture. a “festival of art and music.” presented on a stage put together with broken desks pulled out from storage. Work with us or help us with the expenses” (Figure 7). Called Des-hechos en arquitectura. SEL F-CONSTRU CTION. Primer esquisse del bestiario. Courtesy of Archivo Bestiario. corner of Arequipa Avenue and Dos de Mayo Street.42 The rigid space of the plaza was altered not only by the very presence of the unruly constructions but also by the fact that Los Bestias altered Figure 6. One of them. Addressing the necessary transformation of the role of middleclass professionals. the quotation postulated an individual ought to be capable of using his own cultural background to work with the majority to which he belonged. Many of the individual installations were also embellished with a prolific number of hand-painted posters. classes and workshops were divided between the Department of Economy and the Department of Modern Languages. Los Bestias quoted Juvenal Baracco. while others had a much more programmatic character. rectangular plaza between these two blocky buildings. Some of them contained poems. The group’s second large project. DOR OT A BI CZ E L. These themes ranged from consumerism to terrorism.

The vernacular. These trails also physically connected the dispersed architects themselves. Campus of Universidad Ricardo Palma. December 1984. They gathered stones and rocks from the construction site and laid out new curvilinear pathways that traversed the space and led from one installation to another. If the moniker of the entire project. “slums”) of Lima. the hut’s frame was erected using bamboo canes. Lima. can be understood as either the “remnants” or the “unmaking” of architecture. Los Bestias. no other installation articulated Los Bestias’ position more eloquently and directly than a precarious shack assembled under the banner of the B UI L DI N G S & L A N DSCA P E S 20. They brought informal architecture from the periphery into the center of establishment. its sides were covered with planks of found plywood and cardboard. The frail construction stood in acute contradistinction to the solid brick-andconcrete buildings around it. no . Courtesy of Archivo Bestiario. Des-hechos de arquitectura. improvisational building components aligned Los Bestias’ method with those used by squatters to claim the hillsides of the capital. less euphemistically. such “bringing together” occurred through the incorporation of signs that pointed to various locations that the Department of Architecture had intermittently occupied on Piura. detail of one of the installations from Deshechos en arquitectura. F A LL 201 3 discipline (Figure 9). 2. a small bamboo . Multiple festive gates— whose organic forms and junky embellishments contrasted sharply with the barren Brutalist design of the campus—punctuated these new routes. Similarly. and Dos de Mayo Streets (see Figure 7). Conversely. Independencia. 8 |  the pattern of established movement (Figure 8). if the majority of installations performed a symbolic function. crisp.Figure 7. For their installations Los Bestias used materials they could find and salvage on site or acquire at very low cost. and its floor was laid out with branches. Yet. and professional-looking elements were the sign and its geometric sans-serif lettering. Santiago de Surco. Its most crafted. These materials happened to be “poor” and commonly deployed in the so-called pueblos jóvenes (“young settlements” or.

Arquitectura from Deshechos en arquitectura. a leader of the leftist coalition Izquierda Unida (United Left). El carpa teatro (Figure 11) was an arts center established in the heart of Lima as a part of the program of Popular Cultural Participation by the municipal administration of the new mayor.43 Hence. musicians. and El carpa teatro del puente Santa Rosa (Tent theater of the Saint Rose bridge). utilitarian role: to provide shelter from the sun and a gathering space to rest and talk (Figure 10). and scores of other activities. through word-of-mouth advertising. Courtesy of Archivo Bestiario. and theater groups coalesced around the group. just like the winding pathways. Los Bestias. Alfonso Barrantes. the practice of Los Bestias would also transcend the world of the Limeña youth subculture. AND D EMOCRACY BU ILD IN G   | 9 . By 1985 municipal officials noticed their energy and their ability to construct on shoestring budgets. incorporating rock and folk music. art workshops. 1984. VERNACU L AR MATERIAL S. a cohort of visual artists. As a result in 1986 the group was invited to construct the architectural setting for two cultural endeavors: the folk art fair held during La semana de integración cultural latinoamericana (SICLA.quincha. DOR OT A BI CZ E L. SEL F-CONSTRU CTION. Week of Latin American Cultural Integration). mural painting. it marked the space for and by the collective itself. however. View of Deshechos en arquitectura. Figure 9. With time. performance. Within the historical context of the decade. the emergence of this Figure 8. had a practical.44 Within a couple of years. and their events quickly evolved into multimedia festivals. which took place in the Parque de la Exposición in the center of the city. thatched with palm leaves and equipped with fruit crates as seating. Courtesy of Archivo Bestiario. 1984.

Wall murals by artist Herbert Rodríguez. wood. In the background (left) is the historic Convent of Santa Rosa of Lima. the very tent for the performances was assembled by a circus magician from the neighborhood. bamboo cane. Courtesy of Archivo Bestiario. To the customary assortment of eucalyptus timber. as such. rebellious social mobilization fueled by young artists in order to channel it and engage disenfranchised inhabitants of El Cercado district. and woven reed mats. liberating activities designed to take place inside. Tacna Avenue. Initially. Los Bestias. El carpa teatro del puente Santa Rosa. experienced in creating such structures with canvas bags for storing sugar and flour.” The municipality not only worked on B UI L DI N G S & L A N DSCA P E S 20. 10 |  program was a rare opening in which—to use the words of Manuel Castells—“the relationship between the state and the city [was reconstructed] on the basis of their mutual grassroots.”45 Progressive-thinking municipal officials were ­ ready to welcome the spontaneous.Figure 10. . “We want the organized community to decide on the forms and priorities of the cultural activities in their locality. 2.47 These goals of nurturing culture came from the understanding that social problems of marginalized populations go far beyond narrowly understood economic issues and that culture can be a useful tool of community empowerment. Cercado de Lima. “The plan is not to offer great spectacles/tricks to escape from reality. refuted the concrete material discourse of modernism but that nonetheless had been used for generations in traditional rural and popular vernacular construction. Courtesy of Archivo Bestiario. The task delegated to Los Bestias was arguably their most ambitious and most architectural assignment. into an environment that would support the creative. Los Bestias erected the elaborate entrance to the theater and visually organized the environment. a professor at the Universidad Ricardo Palma and a specialist in quincha construction. Lima. F A LL 201 3 mobilizing various neighborhood associations but also sought their input and comments. the municipal officials committed to transforming a dilapidated lot on Tacna Avenue.”49 Despite a tight budget. This was an anthropological vision of culture conceived from the bottom up as “an expression of the wide sectors of population. they added—as in their previous enterprises—recycled and salvaged industrial materials. in the center of the city. they employed the stuff that was largely rejected in contemporary architecture sponsored by the state and private capital—the stuff that. . . . Using what they called nontraditional materials.46 The Municipal Program of Popular Cultural Participation aimed to embrace these diverse groups and recognize the richness and variety of cultural forms that they had developed. The important thing is that the public becomes actors and stops being passive viewers.48 The assumption was that the people would actively participate in the endeavor.50 José Niño. Quincha from Des-hechos en arquitectura. 1984. As before. no . designed workshops in the back of the lot.” proclaimed the widely distributed promotional flyer. 1986. Figure 11.51 Form would not only make a symbolic statement but also perform a utilitarian social function. Multiple agents contributed to the overhaul of the space in its various stages.

52 As a result. and popular contemporary traditions that paralleled the historical and social makeup of the city of Lima. In order to embrace the diverse groups and fulfill the mission of the municipal program. with the evenings filled with underground rock music. including concerts of traditional Peruvian music and performances Figure 12. located right next door on Tacna Ave­nue. slender canes were ingeniously held together with car tires (Figure 13). echoing the Baroque arches of the Convent of Santa Rosa. The mostly wooden construction. entrance gate to El carpa teatro. They consisted of a mixture of tradition­ ally understood spectatorship and events that aimed to enable and encourage the creative skills of ordinary individuals. VERNACU L AR MATERIAL S. Los Bestias. Whereas the entrance arch was reminiscent of colonial buildings. were culminated with a large lattice arch. which welcomed the visitors to El carpa teatro. Two brightly painted triangular pillars. Courtesy of Archivo Bestiario. It was assembled from planks of wood that framed a pair of circles with tiny diamond shapes in their centers. The gate was accompanied by an equally high bamboo tower.The monumental gate. This structural element was devised to harmonize with its historical surroundings. Saturdays were dedicated to youth. DOR OT A BI CZ E L. simply because of its sheer size (Figure 12). was perhaps the most noteworthy design element of the theater—first of all. in which long. SEL F-CONSTRU CTION. three stories high. towered over the mural-covered brick wall surrounding the theater grounds. in front of it the architects designed a plaza with two concentric circles carved into the ground and laid out with stone—a nod to traditional Incan structures (Figure 14). AND D EMOCRACY BU ILD IN G   | 11 . all events at the theater were free and open to the public. the entire structure was a heterogeneous entity. and Sundays were planned for family programs. built out of eucalyptus and bamboo and tied together with rope. 1986. with references to indigenous. colonial.

. 2. . both youth subculture and newcomers to Lima had to claim space through which they would assert and articulate their existence. . F A LL 201 3 In its short but effective existence.57 Inclusion of the multiplicity of voices—voices of affirmation or dissent. Many people of different backgrounds and motivations began to visit.” was open to embracing both unruly youth culture and the social groups disenfranchised by traditional political processes. no . We believe that the people who worked on this dream showed that with the imagination and will.55 The six months of El carpa teatro’s operations were widely hailed as a success: Figure 13. . you can do many things. . . They included punk groups. a workshop of testimony and oral history that was run by the students of the School of Literature of San Marcos University. through the peñas . . 1986. children. . and Los Bestias themselves attested to the fact that the transformation of conflict in order to achieve their common goals was one of the main productive challenges of their work. which was renowned for its collective. 2. The people of the neighborhood got engaged. which set itself the B UI L DI N G S & L A N DSCA P E S 20. the leading voice of Peru­ vian black music. Los Bestias. entrance gate to El carpa teatro during the process of construction. detail of the entrance to El carpa teatro during the process of construction. 12 |  of children’s theater. teaching. fathers. not only to entertainment and amusement. but also to informing. and debating through different forms of artistic expression. a photography workshop organized by the group Agencia No. Within collaborative processes such as the creation of the theater. Figure 14. deep engagement with grassroots community issues. Courtesy of Archivo Bestiario. the new type of urban social relations could emerge only if specialized knowledge—that of architects. As Henri Lefebvre postulated. Courtesy of Archivo Bestiario. which promoted its program with the slogan “United we can. participatory democracy. conflict was bound to emerge. Dozens of artists passed through the Carpa scene (Figure 15). divided we do nothing. .53 The programming consisted also of four workshops aimed at nurturing the innate creativity of the population: an art workshop lead by the young but seasoned Herbert Rodríguez.54 a theater workshop run by Mauro Sifuentes. the locals. however. [the theater] managed to convene a good quantity of people dedicated not only to a profitable business. so.56 This dream of El carpa teatro was the vision of inclusive.58 In order to emerge collectively on the social scene. . voices that might contradict—was at the core of dynamics as small as Des-hechos de arquitectura and El carpa teatro and as large as the emergence of the grassroots movements of the Peruvian pobladores. Los Bestias. 1986. the foreigners. they came: mothers. the notice spread through the blocks uptown and downtown. and commitment to social mobilization and advocacy. The municipality. Susana Baca.goal of also organizing the traveling exhibition The Height and Crisis of the Aristocratic Neighborhood. and finally. . experimental crea­ tion. . and the now legendary theater group Yuyachkani.

SEL F-CONSTRU CTION.”63 That phrase referred to a brutal repression of riots in Frontón. 1986. As the civil war encroached upon Lima. owned. Los Bestias rock band performing in El carpa teatro. any form of cultural. AND D EMOCRACY BU ILD IN G   | 13 . Peru has never really possessed “public space. unruly free agents and engaging those individuals who had been excluded from participation in the cultural projects in the capital. collective grassroots expression became a suspicious site of potential political dissent that had to be quelled immediately. Los Bestias’ projects were developed on the principles of self-construction and collectivity. however. Following the municipal elections of 1986. Courtesy of Archivo Bestiario.61 This challenge to traditionally understood public space also increased tensions between the criollo (creole) Limeños and the cholos (Andean migrants). Photograph taken in the first days of January 1987.59 According to architect and urbanist Wiley Ludeña. DOR OT A BI CZ E L. Courtesy of Archivo Bestiario. theater. include protest music. 1986. music. Throughout the second half of the twentieth century.urban planners. or incorporate “any act related to the recent events in the prisons of the capital. The decree of the Ministry of War of July 4. VERNACU L AR MATERIAL S.”60 Historically. with the everyday lived actions of human groups.62 The group intruded upon spaces they could not necessarily claim as legally theirs in order to carve out independent liberated zones where the creation of a total artwork could occur—places in which visual art. and empowerment came into spontaneous free play. poetry. and Santa Mónica that resulted in nearly three hundred dead. including over one hundred prisoners who were executed extrajudicially. and administrators—was unified with praxis. Figure 16. El carpa teatro destroyed. pedagogy. modest grassroots claims to segments of privatized space—made by the underprivileged newcomers from the Peruvian provinces—were seen as contributions to the increasing fragmentation of the capital. Lurigancho. Their continuous desire to open up their process and involve other people should be read as an attempt to counteract the intensifying fragmentation of the country by materializing do-it-yourself niches—such as a spatially reorganized plaza of the university campus or an urban ­theater—in which shared or communal experiences could take place. its vast lands have been controlled. bringing together disparate. El carpa teatro was closed Figure 15. permitted the organization of “cultural days” on the condition that they would not touch upon any political matters. and regulated by colonial and postcolonial oligarchies that have ruled this highly artificially constructed nation.

Courtesy of Archivo Bestiario. the Sheraton Hotel. the Palace of Justice. 2. upper left. the colorful Centro Cívico. 14 |  B UI L DI N G S & L A N DSCA P E S 20. Los Bestias. no .Figure 17. 1987. F A LL 201 3 . the Museo de Arte Italiano. Center right. below Centro Cívico. detail of one of six display panels of the project Lima—Utopía mediocre. Plaza at the end of the Paseo de la República taken over by selfconstructed architecture. below the hotel.

Photograph taken by the members of Los Bestias in the process of preparing the urbanistic proposal Lima–Utopía mediocre. with the Palace of Justice (lower left). Los Bestias recognized that space was. Centro Cívico (a New Brutalist complex of government offices constructed in the early 1970s).64 There. DOR OT A BI CZ E L. reserved for the main station of an electric train. they would erect their own—meaning self-constructed—­ buildings  and institutions. and the empty plaza between them. SEL F-CONSTRU CTION. AND D EMOCRACY BU ILD IN G   | 15 . They would invade the center. in this volatile context Los Bestias’ final project must be seen as a defiant stance not only against impotent official urban planning and design policies but also against institutionalized violence and the crackdown of the state on grassroots activities. using spatial channels provided by the nonfunctioning tracks and the main north–south artery of Paseo de la República. The proposal staged a takeover of the Historic Center of Lima—with its symbolic sites of governmental power—by rural migrants. the Sheraton Hotel.promptly. Latin American Congress of the Schools and Departments of Architecture) was held in Cuzco. VERNACU L AR MATERIAL S. Pervasive violence and political pressures eventually fractured Los Bestias. as Manuel Castells has suggested of urban movements.” that the control of space was a “major Figure 18. The people would occupy the Palace of Justice. regardless of divisions within the group. and the fantastic decorations and constructions created by the artists and architects were destroyed (Figure 16). a critical theoretical proposal in architecture and urban- ism (Figures 17 and 18). In 1987—­ designated by UNESCO as the International Year of ­Shelter for the Homeless—the Congreso Latino­ americano de Escuelas y Facultades de Arquitectura (CLEFA. Hence. too. They would also trans­form the monotonous concrete greyness of the city with a carnivalesque array of bright colors of ludic aesthetics. Nonetheless. View of the Paseo de la República from the Centro Cívico. necessary as a physical base from which the populace could “organize their autonomy against the institutional power. Los Bestias presented to the congress Lima—A Mediocre Utopia. Courtesy of Archivo Bestiario. with the members of the group dispersing along d ­ istinct—and sometimes much more orthodox—political lines.

constructed infrastructure and open spaces with truly public access—underlie the discourses of architectural and urban development. makeshift proposals were crucial exercises in the grassroots efforts to reformulate beliefs regarding who would have access and how to access and attain the right to the city—to planning and to utilization of urban space.69 Since the global fiscal crisis of 2008. all struggled for control over the space of the Peruvian capital. Los Bestias envisioned a nonhierarchical collective body that was organized. It refuted bureaucratic and authoritarian claims to social integration and coherence.70 Although some are aimed at pragmatic change. it has arguably been temporary. elitist critical regionalism in an upperclass architect-designed home.battle in the ­historic war between people and the state. as the critic Mimi Zeiger has recently claimed. 2. Conclusion Los Bestias’ projects render visible a number of issues that—to a large extent—remain hidden undercurrents of architectural practice and urban life. from the detritus of the quotidian. with expensive landmark buildings. . the crucial question to ask is. other endeavors blend architecture. particularly on the policy level. in opposition to homogeneous entities programmed from top to bottom by the dominant ideologies—be it the nascent neoliberal state or the Leninist-Maoist cause of the relentless Shining Path. bottom-up. Instead. “The question of what kind of city we want cannot be divorced from the question what kind of people we want to be. and performance spaces—that have most profoundly reshaped the spaces of everyday urban action and interaction. art. especially in economically depressed postindustrial areas. to evoke the words of John Friedmann. architecture continues to be associated with permanence and. far less attention is paid to provisional or ephemeral projects. material. seemingly emblematic bamboo could signify poverty in a squatter settlement. urban gardens. what relations to nature we cherish. Hence. How do the functional uses of specific materials or approaches to design contribute to the transformation of social relations and everyday life in the city? Los Bestias’ ephemeral. or duration alone cannot be used as effective criteria of evaluation.”72 The assessment of such ventures is often dif- 16 |  B UI L DI N G S & L A N DSCA P E S 20. Rather. what kinds of social relations we seek. pragmatic realism of an anarchist kind. popup markets. inciting the aesthetic and affective sensibilities of urban dwellers. need-­responsive action and construction. “in opposition to this world [of social planning and the state]. what style of life we desire.68 Despite calls to the contrary.73 Los Bestias’ projects remind us that meaning is based on context and that appearance.”65 They rejected the power that sought to discipline bodies through modern architecture and brutal force and aligned themselves with the values and materials of everyday. nonidentitarian principles of subversive. it operated on participatory. Their community would articulate itself from the ground up.66 As David Harvey has recently written. and do-it-yourself democratic space in the installations by architecture students. however.”74 From the mundane conditions of the appalling present.71 This array of ephemeral projects can be seen as yet another updated means of the grassroots claiming the Lefebvrian “right to the city.”67 In the context of urban regeneration projects. The demands for physical spaces—both built. such a collective body worked from the premise that neither ideological programs nor discipline and violence could inscribe shared aspirations into the people. and activism. which are thought to be capable of transforming secondary cities or districts into new cultural destinations. F A LL 201 3 ficult and messy. Between the presumed anarchism of the squatter settlements and the planning of the governmental and private-investment projects. Its shape and principle are at stake for politicians and their public policies and a wide variety of resistance movements alike—for the so-called global metropolises and the Third World cities. Thirty years ago in Peru. no . Los Bestias’ endeavors called for a collective existence rooted in bottom-to-top decision-making processes and vastly expanded egalitarian participatory democracy. often vernacular architectural and infrastructural enterprises—food trucks. asserting itself in a struggle to open new territories for itself. what aesthetic values we hold.

Patricio del Real and Helen Gyger. 7. 8. it claimed nearly Kindle edition. This analysis owes the most to the writings of Henri Lefebvre. even. Activities of the group coincide with the administrations of the presidents Fernando Belaúnde Terry (1980–85) and Alan García (1985–90). and Claudia Fernández. Peru. November 13. SEL F-CONSTRU CTION. The bloodiest conflict. 6. “Arquitectos con caras sucias. The very name of the group. “Pre-Columbian Skins. Her dissertation research focuses on artistic and architectural urban interventions and the production of space in Lima. 93–114 (New York: Routledge. like the amorphous body that constituted it. Its outbreak coincided with the first democratic elections following a twelve-year-long military dictatorship and was marked by the burning of ballot boxes in the Andean province of Ayacucho on the eve of the 1980 presidential election. 22–23. AND D EMOCRACY BU ILD IN G   | 17 . The image is a color photocopy of the photograph of a quincha from the project Deshechos en arquitectura. Painter Herbert Rodríguez worked with the group from the very beginning and. following the group’s dissolution in 1987.” or. Juan Carlos López. Abimael Guzmán. Among the group’s members were visual artists Alfredo Márquez and Álex Ángeles. I take the term “pirate urbanization” from Mike Davis. Planet of Slums (New York: Verso. 4. See the commission’s final report at C ­ omisión de la Verdad y Reconciliación. Sissi Acha. In a July 2011 interview. which means “to undo. Las Bestias. even after the 1992 capture of the leader of Sendero. On Belaúnde’s deployment of the discourse of indigenous patrimony during his political campaigns of the late 1950s and 1960s.” in Third World Modernism. chap. The DOR OT A BI CZ E L. and another Beast. joined in 1984 by the Movimiento Revolucionario Túpac Amaru (MRTA). 2013).” 2003. Des-hechos en arquitectura does not have a straightforward translation into English. 2006).pe/ifinal/index. following the Conquest. see Luis Castañeda. and El Bestiario. Massive crimes and abuses of human rights occurred during the dictatorship of ­Alberto Fujimori (1992–2000). Ángeles. went on to form the graphic-arts collective Taller NN with Márquez.cverdad.” or “to destroy. inspired by the title of the first collection of short stories by the Argentine writer Julio Cortázar.” “Unmaking of architecture. Javier Bonifaz. 2011). 1986. García. http://www . he was a main champion and political force behind the implementation of the principles of architectural modernism in the country.000 lives. Álex Ángeles told me that the group would have used “spaceship materials” if they were something that “was there. VERNACU L AR MATERIAL S. “Informe Final. 2. as accounted for by the Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission (Comisión de la Verdad y Reconciliación. For a basic study in English. and architectural historian Elio Martuccelli. “Remnants of architecture. realized in December 1984 on the campus of the Universidad Ricardo Palma in Lima’s Surco district. architects Jhoni Marina. Sandro Passalacua. starting with the foundation of the magazine El Arquitecto Peruano in 1937.” The title then could be understood as “Architecture unmade. ed. 3. I relied on Henri Lefebvre.” The English titles of the two following projects are Tent Theater of the Saint Rose Bridge and Lima–A Mediocre Utopia.” Arquitextos 23 (2008): 77–88. Enrique “Quique” Wong. reinas de chatarra. Elio Martuccelli. Educated at the University of Miami and the University of Texas at Austin.” “to unmake. see Sharif Kahatt. “Agrupación Espacio and the CIAM Peru Group. Deshecho is a past participle of the verb deshacer. Developmentalist Souls: The Architect as Politician. 2. in the history of Peru. The Peruvian Internal Conflict lasted from 1980 to 2000.” Amauta. This gesture signaled the taking up of arms against the state by the MarxistLeninist-Maoist guerilla group Partido Comunista del Perú—Sendero Luminoso (The Shining Path). 5. who are currently involved in preserving Los Bestias’ legacy. between 1978 and 1989. All the translations from Spanish are the author’s. CVR).”  9. remains debatable: the projects were presented under the monikers Los Bestias. Bestiario (1951). 1963–68 and 1980–85. 85–110 (New York: Routledge. Fernando Belaúnde Terry (1912–2002) was the president of Peru for two nonconsecutive terms. “Des-hechos de arquitectura: Reyes de basura. ed. Duanfang Lu.Au t hor Bio gr a ph y Dorota Biczel is a doctoral candidate at the Center for Latin American Visual Studies (CLAVIS) in the Department of Art and Art History at The University of Texas at Austin.” in Latin American Modern Architectures: Ambiguous Territories.php. No t es 1. José Luis García.

literally uncivilized “beasts. This view of the period is common. contrary to the program and expectations staked out by those in power. “Movimiento Subterráneo y espacios políticos en la cultura peruana de la década del 80. Las Torres de San Borja o el ocaso de la urbanística (Lima: Lluvia Editores. from the regime of General Manuel Odría (1948–56) to that of the democratically elected Fernando Belaúnde Terry (1963–68). See Dietz.: Blackwell.: Blackwell. 13. 1996). 17. cutting itself off from the state’s sponsorship.” Boletín de la Universidad Ricardo Palma (Lima: Universidad Ricardo Palma. Mary McLeod. 12.” Boletín de la Universidad Ricardo Palma. Olga Rodríguez Ulloa. 14.” in Architecture of the Everyday. Urban Poverty. Mass.” Critica Latinoamericana.” Márgenes 1 (March 1986): 52–98. http://­ criticalatinoamericana. Henri Lefebvre. trans. 1983). 2. for example. Deborah Berke and Steven Harris. 1983). 1991). Comisión de la Verdad y Reconciliación.” which contributed to coining the name of the collective. 18. F A LL 201 3 the urban social movements. The City and the Grassroots (Berkeley: University of California Press. educational. 183. Urban Poverty. According to him. in 1980 the First National Congress of New Settlements (Primero Congreso Nacional de PPJJ) took place in Lima. 1998). the castoffs of the more selective institutions. and the State: Lima 1970–1990 (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press. can reasonably be seen as an exception. trans. Manuel Castells. ¡El tiempo construye!: El Proyecto Experimental de Vivienda (PREVI) de Lima: Génesis y desenlace / Time Builds!: The Experimental Housing . Mass. 19. Jean-Claude Driant. 9–29 (New York: Princeton Architectural Press. 2. 1997). Alfredo Márquez claims that the bestprepared and most financially secure people studied at the more prestigious. Writings on Cities. interview with the author. 20. the land invasions could occur and be tolerated only due to either the permissiveness of the officials or the strength of 18 |  B UI L DI N G S & L A N DSCA P E S 20. The students of the Universidad Ricardo Palma (URP) were also commonly seen as less apt. Henry Dietz. Lima. 2004). 190–94. 4–­e spacios-politicos-en-la-cultura-peruana-de-ladecada-del-ochenta. The regime also worked on political organization of the new districts. Acuerdos del Primero Congreso Nacional de PPJJ y UUPP del Perú. The group formulated a broad program of economic. Tres bueno tigres: Vanguardia y urbanismo en el Perú del Siglo XX (Lima: Ur[b]es Ediciones y Colegio de Arquitectos del Perú. and cultural demands that included making the Quechua language official. social. which left room for substantial agency of the inhabitants. By the 1980s the pobladores were successfully petitioning on their own behalf for their own self-defined needs. 10. Las barriadas de Lima: Historia e interpretación (Lima: Instituto Francés de Estudios Andinos and Centro de Estudios y Promoción del Desarrollo. July. no . Alfredo Márquez and Álex Ángeles. Wiley Ludeña Urquizo. “Henri Lefebvre’s Critique of Everyday Life: An Introduction. “La utopía perdida: Imágenes de la revolución bajo el segundo belaundismo. PREVI (Proyecto Experimental de Vivienda). 1991). Eleonore Kofman and Elizabeth Lebas (Malden. See. 2. Political Participation. July 2011.” 16. caused by the brutal repression of the squatters of Pamplona in May 1971. The Revolutionary Government of the Peruvian Armed Forces of General Velasco Alvarado (1968–80) ended up legalizing land invasions after the public conflict with the Catholic Church. Donald Nicholson-Smith P (Malden. “Las Bestias. “Las Bestias. 1980.. See Confederación General de Pobladores del Perú. As a result of this political maneuver. the barriadas were transformed into officially recognized pueblos jóvenes. As Manuel Castells observes. highly structured ordering of residential complexes. and ed. 15. allowing and providing for expansion and modification of the basic housing units. See Fernando García-Huidobro et al. since its foundational principles went very much against a closed.­ roduction of Space. the increasing cases of land takeovers in Lima happened mostly because of the electoral game of populist clientelism played by the subsequent governments. Wiley Ludeña Urquizo. For example. Gustavo Buntinx. The cultural movement to which the group referred can be most immediately understood as the nascent Limeña Movida Subterránea (Underground Scene). It also called for political autonomy and democracy of the neighborhood movements. 1985). and—as Castells notes—it was so successful that the game eventually turned against them. 11. “Informe Final. long-established schools UNI (Universidad Nacional de Ingeniería) and PUCP (Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú). ed.

Baracco. 70. For the historical roots of this phenomenon. focusing on the flawed distribution of different functional spaces of the complex and its separation from the fabric of the city. Insurgencies: Essays in Planning Theory (New York: Routledge. Barraco is credited with some major pedagogical innovations instituted at the university. Cholo is a new type of mestizo who emerges with the phenomenon of urbanization. Ludeña Urquizo. 1988). Bonilla Di Tolla.” For a long time. 60. Lima: Genesis and Outcome (Barcelona: Gustavo Gilli. 34. Arquitectura para una ciudad fragmentada. Andrew Maskrey and Gilbero Romero. Enrique Bonilla Di Tolla. Frampton deployed the term as a response to the perceived homogenization of the world by consumer mass culture. see Juvenal Baracco. as quoted in Anthony Vidler. 38.” in El arquitecto y su obra: 50. 38. Ludeña Urquizo in Las Torres de San Borja hits a similar register. their relationship was to a large degree contentious. 90 (Lima: Agencia Española de la Cooperación Internacional.” Journal of Architectural Education 55. Las Torres de San Borja. “Los 80s”. in Planet of Slums Mike Davis condemns John Turner’s “celebrated model” of selfhelp and legalization of spontaneous urbanization as an “amalgam of anarchism and neoliberalism” that spurred radical departure from the policies of public housing.” Many of the Beasts were his students. no. 147. 36. and. 1985). and Anxiety in Modern Culture (Cambridge. Centro Cultural de España. 32. especially dangerous to developing nations.” Plaza Mayor 7 (1983): 11–12. 25.” Journal of Latin American Studies 28. Arquitectura para una ciudad fragmentada. Martuccelli. VERNACU L AR MATERIAL S. romanticized the cost and results of slum upgrading. D. 80. 144. This is how Elio Martuccelli characterized the building of Banco de Crédito in La Molina. 38. 37. 52. which won the main prize of the VII Biennial of Lima in 1988. 52. Alfredo Márquez. 40. Kindle edition. proyectos y edificios en la Lima del siglo XX (Lima: Universidad Ricardo Palma. Miami: School of Architecture. DOR OT A BI CZ E L. Revolución habitacional en democracia: Plan de vivienda del gobierno peruano. Keith Eggener. Planet of Slums. the creation of so-called “vertical workshops. See Bonilla Di Tolla. “Autoayuda y vivienda. most notably. finally. Las Torres de San Borja. 30. led to the withdrawal of the state. John Friedmann. See an interview with Baracco in Juvenal Baracco. 2009). 143. 24. 27. Architecture. Juvenal Baracco.Project (PREVI). Georg Simmel. 29. 31. Juvenal Baracco. September 2010. ed.” Habitar 1 (1983): 9–12. see Cecilia Mendez G. Cholo is not the mestizo “of blood” but rather a person of indige­ nous origin who tries to “assimilate into the dominant culture. Baracco. 1 (February 1996): 197–225. On Individuality and Social Forms. Such perspectives persist today. Davis. “Los 80s. 1992). 4 (May 2002): 228–37. 15. according to the former members of the group. Seeking to rejuvenate the emancipatory aspects of the modernist legacy. 1980–1985 (Lima: ENACE–Empresa Nacional de Edificaciones. brought about commodification of informal housing. 23. 2011). “Auto-construcción: Mito o solución. Warped Space: Art. 22. 212. Juvenal Baracco: Un universo en casa (Bogotá: Facultad de Arquitectura. Ludeña Urquizo. University of Miami. Indios No: Notes on Peruvian Creole Nationalism and Its Contemporary Crisis. Interestingly. interview with the author. 10. no. “Incas Si. 21. Arquitectura para una ciudad fragmentada: Ideas. Levine (Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 314–27. The term “urbanization without socialization” aptly applies to the situation of Lima (as well as other megapolises of the so-called Third World) in the second half of the twentieth century. 2008). a cholo was perceived as a person who was basically forcefully uprooted from his or her original community and lost his or her authentic identity. 28. Las Torres de San Borja. Lima. Universidad Ricardo Palma. SEL F-CONSTRU CTION. 35.” Plaza Mayor 2 (1982): 35–38. Universidad de los Andes. “Critical Regionalism: Modern Architecture and Cultural Identity. he sought to identify “regional schools” that would re- interpret local vernaculars in pursuit of “regionally based world culture” (327). AND D EMOCRACY BU ILD IN G   | 19 . 2000). Mass. For example. 1971). For the one comprehensive monograph of Baracco’s work. however. with disturbing social repercussions. “Los 80s”.. 26. Elio Martuccelli. 126. 33. Kenneth Frampton. “Placing Resistance: A Critique of Critical Regionalism. Ludeña Urquizo.: MIT Press. 39. For an exemplary debate. 2000).” in Modern Architecture: A Critical History (New York: Thames and Hudson. see Andrew Maskrey and Gilbero Romero. Martuccelli. “Mas allá del viviendismo.

1986. 59. en ese momento el título universitario habrá dejado de ser de la nobleza. Juan Luis Dammert. Acha. Ministry of War. Lima. he has been a vocal cultural activist. quoted in Sissi Acha. Paul Gogin. 15 [underground rock] groups and performances of art and architecture. 1986). interview with the author. Here. See Pablo Vega Centeno. July 4. 3 to continue with the event. and “The Right to the City.” Amauta. 58. Lima.” 86–93. 1985. The end product of the literature workshop was the book Habla la ciudad (Lima: Municipalidad de Lima ­Metropolitana / Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos. Musicians and artists moved to the roof of one housing block in the project Unidad vecinal no. coordinator of the cultural promoters of the six municipal agencies of El Cercado district. conceived as free and open to the public. no . Born in Lima in 1959.html. Poblador can have multiple connotations in Spanish. interview with author. interview with the author. For more information on Yuyachkani. G3. Between 1976 and 1981. see “Yuyachkani: Performance and Politics in Peru. Martuccelli. Lima. Quincha is the word that the members of the group themselves use in reference to this construction. City and the Grassroots. 42. 48. While it is not clear if they were sympathizers of Sendero or hardline Marxist leaders of the Student Federation of San Marcos University. “Aquitectos con caras sucias. in Writings on Cities. 2013. “Des-hechos de arquitectura. 1985. 52. 57.” Hemispheric Institute website. 1986. Acha. some youth. n..” 22. 51.” 22. He participated in all of the events organized by Los Bestias and is credited by the group with teaching them serigraphy. August 2012. The two agencies directly involved were Secretaría Municipal de Educación y Cultura and Oficina de Participación Vecinal. 55. I would like to mention the concert Denuncia por la vida that was supposed to take place on September 21. The organization ­com­mittee to the rector of UNMSM. 56. Here. September 11. “La carpa teatro: El suplicio de Santa Rosa. The event. 47. Rodríguez established himself as one of the most important artists of the 1980s. 5887. February 12.” 139–46. 54. exhibiting at the XVII Biennial of São Paulo in 1983 and I Havana Biennial in 1984. see John Friedmann. “Arquitectos con caras sucias. 2009). 60. 46. 61. Arquitectura para una ciudad fragmentada.. Acha. July 2011. As a student. interview with the author.” 82. The full quote reads: “Al eliminar la ansiedad del ascenso social por la adopción del otro cosmos que viene implícito en el conocimiento que se imparte [en la universidad] se podrá producir individuos que sean capaces de extraer de su propia cultura para enfrentar coherentemente al medio y al sistema junto a las mayorías a las que pertenecen. but they ended up being thrown out by the police. 45. Especially useful in understanding Lefebvre’s position are “Philosophy and the City. Wiley Ludeña Urquizo. was intended to bring together “the spontaneous generational movement. For example. accused them of being agents of “Western imperialism” and kicked them off the university grounds. ed. 22. e-mail.” 22. diversidad y fragmentación de una metrópoli emergente (Quito: Organización Latinoameri­ cana y del Caribe de Centros Históricos. Such a view of Lima persists. org/cuaderno/yuyachkani/index. July 2011. Alfredo Márquez and Álex Ángeles. 243. it indicates an urban squatter or a semilegal settler. however. 20 |  B UI L DI N G S & L A N DSCA P E S 20. he studied at the School of Art of the Catholic University of Peru in Lima. Alfredo Márquez. It evokes a traditional colonial construction system in which wood and bamboo frames are covered with mud and plaster. Decree No. http://hemisphericinstitute. November 13. In 1982 he cofounded Artistas Visuales Asociados. September 2010. Alfredo Márquez.” in Insurgencies. “Rethinking Poverty: The Dis/Empowerment Model.” See Martuccelli. 44. “Arquitectos con caras sucias. Álex Ángeles to the author.” 147–60. 62. 2.” 43.” The concert never took place. Antonio Cornejo Polar. Or “to unite the dispersion. outraged at the appropriation of the circle-A symbol for anarchy and the swastika by the artists. 53. Castells. on the campus of Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos (UNMSM).d. 63. . F A LL 201 3 49. he was a member of the important experimental artistic group EPS Huayco (1979–81). 50. collection of Herbert Rodríguez. More recently. Flyer in the collection of Herbert Rodríguez. organized by Herbert Rodríguez to protest human rights violations and bloody massacres in the provinces. “Arquitectos con caras sucias. 14.41.” newspaper clipping. “Spectral Analysis.

com/feature/ the-interventionists-toolkit-part-3/29908. Ana Sugranyes and Charlotte Mathivet. For a recent assessment in the popu­lar press. U. see Harvey. and Castells. For recent analysis of the common fallacies associated with the desire to reproduce the Bilbao pdf/TOMO%20VII/Casos%20Ilustrativos-UIE/2. David Harvey. September 24–October 16. can be seen as yet another testimony to the failure and weakening of the state. curated by Hans D. Zeiger. A multiplicity of recent exhibitions speak to the widespread popularity and perceived importance of such projects.J. Christ and Iris Dressler. Mass. http://www. http://opinionator.designobserver. For more than twenty years. New York. Especially worth mentioning are Living as Form. 2010).. 2007). http://places. 2012). and Not for Profit: Critical Urban Theory and the Right to the City (New York: Routledge. the Occupy Wall Street movement. Kindle edition. “Towards a Respatialized Marxism: Lefebvre. “The Interventionist’s Toolkit” series. Chile. see James Holston. attesting to the collapse of the central technocratic planning. Neil Brenner. DOR OT A BI CZ E L. 67.. 72. For a critique of Lefebvre and Castells and their relationship to their Marxist foundations. What distinguishes The City and the Grassroots is Castells’s insistence on the dependence of social movements on the material structure from which specific cities arise. has been extensively discussed both in professional and popular literature and press. gigantic steel-enforced concrete pillars that supported nothing appeared as brutally materialized ghosts in the fabric of the city. Friedmann.. 2008). AND D EMOCRACY BU ILD IN G   | 21 . see Ira Katznelson.pdf.nytimes . “Las ejecuciones extrajudiciales del penal de el Frontón y el Lurigancho (1986).cverdad. Historic Essex Street Market. On mobile and temporary architecture.: Clarendon Press.K.: Architectural Press. Ourselves. and Margit Mayer. My Complex: On Unease at Beholding the City. January 21. Castells. May 17–July 29.” Design Observer. Insurgent Citizenship: Disjunctions of Democracy and Modernity in Brazil ( the-interventionists-toolkit/24308. New York: Oxford University 2003). Ollanta Humala. 2010). 12 September 12.67 . indigenous Idle No More. Among recent cases deserving special mention are student-led protest movements concentrated in Santiago. 74.blogs. Design Observer. Castells was indebted to Lefebvre for many of his formulations. 69. 65. History and Development of the Portable Building (Chichester. It did not. Portable Architecture (Burlington. Insurgencies. 1992). The global museum-building boom. however. see Allison Arieff. 70. a prime example of such an approach. 66. Peter Marcuse. For example. The train’s official opening in July 2011 preceded by days the inauguration into office of the successor of García’s second term (2006–11). 2011. Oh. the landmark project of the first presidency of Alan García (1985–90).” in Marxism and the City (Oxford. 2012. On the resuscitation and current relevance of the Lefebvrian concept. N. 2012. West Sussex: Wiley-Academy. 4. “The Interventionist’s Toolkit: Our 71. For a down-to-earth appraisal of DIY urbanism. Set in Stone: Building America’s New Generation of Arts Facilities. Spain’s Movimiento 15-M (also known as the movement of the indignados). 2002). see Robert Kronenburg.collection of Alfredo Márquez. Rebel Cities. For the prison riots. see Mimi Zeiger. Rebel Cities: From the Right to the City to the Urban Revolution (London: Verso. http://culturalpolicy. City and the Grassroots. chap.FRONTON%20Y%20LURIGANCHO. see Joanna Woronkowicz et al. 3. begin actual functioning until March 2012. SEL F-CONSTRU CTION. 1994–2008 (Chicago: Cultural Policy Center at the University of Chicago.” 2003. December 19.: Princeton University Press. “It’s Time to Rethink ‘Temporary. 2012).”’ New York Times. Cities for People. Cities for All: Proposals and Experiences towards the Right to the City (Santiago. see Comisión de la Verdad y Reconciliación. 64. and the Canada-originated. 68. eds. http://places. 70. uchicago. 73. Robert Kronenburg. Flexible: Architecture That Responds to Change (London: Laurence King. 2011. VERNACU L AR MATERIAL S.designobserver. Houses in Motion: The Gene­ sis. Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart. 2011–March 27. The electric train. curated for Creative Time by Nato Thompson. 2011. Chile: Habitat International Coalition. eds.