Theses Doctoral

Pertenencias pasajeras. La escena subterránea en Perú durante los años ochenta

Rodri­guez-Ulloa, Olga

The dissertation investigates a repertoire of ideas and objects produced by the Underground Scene (Escena Subterránea) that problematize notions of property within the Peruvian culture and society of the time. This is a young subcultural and countercultural social formation that bonded around rock music and created urban interventions, fiction and non-fiction literature, visual arts and music. My inquiry focuses on how this scene perceived as marginal contested well-established aesthetic practices and believes. I trace the way in which their poems, lyrics, interviews, cassette tapes, covers and prints deal with the expectations of what is appropriate and proper to, often migrant, young mestizo, working-class people within the cultural field.
The conditions placed by the Peruvian Internal Conflict (1980-2000) and the migration of rural Peruvians to Lima created a social space where matters of property of land and circulation of people and goods were pivotal to the social experience. Literary and art criticism, along with the historical accounts of music, tend to explain the communal configuration of the scene and its aesthetics in relation to the violence of the armed struggle. These, I argue, also take from the coexistence with the migrants. The Underground Scene produced alongside with a massive marginality of indigenous rural migrants, appropriating their cultural and aesthetic procedures as well as their organizational forms. It worked within the war reflecting upon its various immediate consequences through a generational perspective using tactics borrowed from international subcultures such as the DIY, and others like piracy vastly and successfully used by the migrants. While this influence has been read as purely cultural, I am proposing a material
approach. I claim that these conditions of production shaped up in a definitive way what is widely taken as a subculture and counterculture arranged as a mere imitation of the Anglo- Saxon, white, male punk movement. By using the tropes of voice, yell and noise rather than discourse or logos, these youth gave their criticism and affectivity a political dimension that pointed out the failure of party politics and democracy within the national structure.

Geographic Areas


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Latin American and Iberian Cultures
Thesis Advisors
Montaldo, Graciela
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
February 6, 2015