Records of resistance. Militia governance in the valley of the Apurímac river during the Peruvian internal armed conflict (1980-2000)

Start - End 
2022 - 2026 (ongoing)



The project ‘Records of Resistance’ transcends the commonplace victim-perpetrator binary to describe wartime agency by shedding light on the ambiguities of civilian participation in armed conflict. More precisely, it investigates the emergence of the Civil Self-Defence Committees (CADs) as autonomous institutions providing local governance and social order in the Valley of the Apurímac River during the internal armed conflict in Peru (1980-2000). To do so, the project scrutinizes local archival sources that have never been consulted before by scholars. When handling such sensitive conflict-related archival records, however, researchers might be confronted with an ethical- epistemological tension between knowledge production for the purpose of truth-seeking and accountability on the one hand, and knowledge production for academic purposes on the other. By examining this tension as part of the proposed project, the research generates novel insights into the ethical and epistemological challenges regarding the use of conflict-related archives. The project thus contributes to the fields of conflict and post-conflict studies, Latin American history, and archival science: it generates knowledge on the wartime agency of civilians, sheds light on a controversial yet understudied actor of the Peruvian internal armed conflict, and stimulates debate on the preservation, access and use of contemporary conflict-related archives produced by non-state armed actors.