UCL Institute of the Americas


Phoebe Martin to give paper at international conference on feminist film and art

14 April 2021

'Latin American Feminist Film and Visual Art Collectives' is an international online conference taking place on April 19 and 20, 2021

La verdad es una sola

UCL Americas PhD candidate Phoebe Martin will be delivering her paper Poner la cuerpa: Whose Bodies Are on the Line in the Struggle for Justice for Victims of Forced Sterilisations in Peru? at the international online conference 'Latin American Feminist Film and Visual Art Collectives'. The conference is co-organised by the UCL School European Languages, Culture and Society (SELCS) in collaboration with Université Grenoble-Alpes, and with the generous support of SLAS, LAHP, ILCEA4, and ColectiVISARTS. Learn more about this conference and register your attendance here.

Phoebe has kindly shared her paper abstract (which will also be available with Spanish subtitles):

'From 1992 to 1995 the Peruvian government implemented a national reproductive health and family planning programme. This programme sterilised thousands of mostly poor and indigenous women and men without informed consent, and within this larger number, at least 2091 were forcibly sterilised. To this day victims have not received reparations, and the struggle for justice is an uphill battle. Since 2015 the campaign ‘Somos 2074 y muchas más’ has aimed to raise awareness of the victims’ struggle and demand justice and reparations. As part of the wider feminist movement in Peru the campaign uses performances and interventions in public space as its main tool. In doing so activists are putting their bodies on the line, or ‘poner la cuerpa’.

These performances represent victims through visual symbols of indigeneity: red polleras (skirts) and braids, in combination with the symbol of the uterus – the site of the violence inflicted upon these bodies. This presentation will examine the ways that activists use their bodies as a tool for activism in the campaign for justice for these victims. However, it will also call into question the tensions between those bodies that are on the line in protests and those bodies that were victimised by the state. It considers what it means for non-indigenous, urban activists to visually represent the indigenous and campesina victims of sterilisations in the Peruvian political context.'

Phoebe Martin is currently pursuing her PhD studies at the Institute of the Americas, University College London, under the supervision of Professor Paulo Drinot (UCL) and Professor Jelke Boesten (KCL).



Link to conference webpage: Latin American Feminist Film and Visual Art Collectives

Phoebe Martin - academic profile

Professor Paulo Drinot - academic profile

Professor Jelke Boesten - academic profile


[top] Women's rights demonstration - Lima, Peru ©P Martin

[bottom] Phoebe Martin