Against the Grain: An Artist's Survival Guide to Peru*

Wednesday, Oct 1st, 2008 - 6:45 PM

Venue: National Museum of Women in the Arts

Advance (Online)PriceDoor SalesPrice
Senior 65+/ Studentsn/aSenior 65+/ Students$5
Group (min 6 tickets)n/a

Tickets will be available only at the door one hour before showtime.

*Best Documentary Feature

Against the Grain: An Artist's Survival Guide to Peru

Directed by Ann Kaneko

Running Time: 65 minutes
Year: 2008
Language(s): Spanish, Japanese, English


Recent Peruvian history is marked by waves of military dictatorships, corruption, the rise of democracy, economic crisis, and the dramatic fall of a popular leader, Alberto Fujimori, the first person of Asian descent to become president of a nation in Latin America. Filmmaker Anne Kaneko, herself the daughter of Japanese immigrants to America, found herself drawn to this country, asking how the intersection of art and politics functions in the face of a government wary of the creative expressions of its citizens. Over the course of several years, Kaneko examined the active workings of counterculture in Peru, finding inspiration in four artists who willfully express their views of identity, gender, social class, and politics through contemporary artwork appearing in the streets, studios, and galleries of their communities.

Claudio Jimenez Quispe, who fled his home in Ayacucho, tells stories of insurgent violence in his community through retablistas, traditional wooden display boxes that mimic Catholic altars. Alfredo Marquez, active in the underground punk scene, used an image of Mao in his artwork and spent a number of years unjustly imprisoned. Painter Natalia Iguiniz has challenged the roles of gender and class in a majority Catholic society with her use of posters that sparked a debate over the use of public space and censorship. Eduardo Tokeshi, marked for sharing the same racial background as the toppled Fujimori, explores the meaning of minority belonging and nationalism by reinterpreting the image of the Peruvian flag.

Featuring a vibrant soundtrack of contemporary Peruvian bands and a deft combination of Super 8 footage and cinema verite, this riveting documentary reveals the struggle to maintain freedom of expression in the face of political backlash, censorship, and imprisonment, all against a backdrop of a country in turmoil.


Directed by Kate Hers

Running Time: 8 minutes
Year: 2006
Language(s): Korean, English


An American artist returns to Korea where she was born and relinquished for adoption almost 30 years ago. Using footage of her televised search for biological family and vulnerable performance pieces on the streets of Seoul, she struggles with issues of belonging and transnational identity.